A specialist diabetes team at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals has received a national award for significantly improving blood sugar control in newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes patients.
The team’s care plan owed them ‘The Patient Care Pathway Adult’ award, among the Quality in Care (QiC) Diabetes 2016 prizes, which acknowledges the impressive gains in their patients’ ability to maintain well-controlled blood sugar levels, a year only after diagnosis.
Thanks to their innovative approach, Sheffield Hospitals doubled the number of its type 1 diabetes patients who were able to reach blood glucose targets recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
In 2014, only 23 per cent of patients who consulted the Sheffield diabetes nurses after diagnosis were able to safely control their blood glucose levels. Once enrolled in their programmen, this number jumped up to 50 per cent.
During various training sessions, people with type 1 diabetes learned how to flexibly manage their blood glucose and got familiar with environmental factors that can impact blood sugar fluctuations, such as diet and exercise.
The programme also aimed at individualising care for patients. For example, patients were shown how to inject insulin to match their needs and lifestyle, rather than according to a strict daily injections schedule.
The project started as a will to rethink systems and processes that would ease the journey through the adjustment period of those unfamiliar with the hurdles of living with type 1 diabetes.
From there, Dr Jackie Elliott, an Honorary Consultant for Sheffield Hospitals, and her colleagues have been committed to help patients gradually build up confidence and reduce their risk of diabetes complications, such as neuropathy, that unmanaged patients may be exposed to.
The judges of the award expressed their hope in the development of similar models of care to be implemented in more diabetes centres across the country.
This programmen, launched in 2014, and which follows the latest NICE guidelines released in August 2015, comes after the Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating (DAFNE) plan – another one of Sheffield Teaching Trust’s successful initiatives that is currently used by many UK practitioners.
Photo Source: NHS Sheffield Teaching Hospitals

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