NHS campaign launched to reduce insulin errors

Jack Woodfield
Mon, 14 May 2018
NHS campaign launched to reduce insulin errors
More than 330 sites, mainly hospitals, are taking part in Insulin Safety Week this week in a bid to reduce insulin errors.

According to the results from the 2017 National Diabetes Inpatient Audit, almost one in five (18%) people with diabetes experience at least one insulin error in hospital.

In response the first-ever Insulin Safety Week is taking place across the UK between 14-20 May, following on from successful local campaigns staged across the country last year, including in Leicester, Hastings, Eastbourne and Southampton.

Diabetes UK has backed the campaign and, to address the "worrying problem" of insulin errors, is calling for diabetes inpatient teams to be "fully staffed". The charity says there is work to be done to address this challenge.

"Diabetes teams are doing fantastic work to improve diabetes care. However, the number of insulin errors and inappropriate insulin infusions remains a very worrying problem," said David Jones, assistant director of improvement support and innovation at Diabetes UK.

"It is essential that people with diabetes feel safe when they stay in hospital. We have spoken to too many people who don’t, and these figures show that there is still work to do to improve safety. We need to do more to support diabetes teams to help their colleagues provide safe and appropriate care."

Results from the latest National Diabetes Inpatient Audit suggested that 6% of insulin infusions given in hospitals were inappropriate and some lasted for more than seven days.

Participants in Insulin Safety Week are mainly hospitals but also include GP practices and care homes. They will be staging training events to upskill NHS staff members about the drug. Resources, including leaflets, guidelines and posters, will be used to help spread the word.
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