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Results of the Care Home Diabetes Audit (2012/13)

The Institute of Diabetes for Older People has recently audited diabetes care in residential and nursing homes across England. These data have identified some common issues and challenges in this sector, suggesting that although diabetes is common, the care home sector is often ill equipped to meet the rising challenge of the condition. This audit suggests that the sector needs to improve its diabetes-specific policies and procedures, improve staff training and develop effective linkages with other NHS services.

by Colin Kenny, GP, Dromore

Twenty-three per cent of the approximately 9000 care homes for elderly residents operating in England responded to this survey. Almost 60% of residents were over 85 years old, and almost half of these (27% of all residents) were over 90. The key finding was that diabetes is a highly prevalent condition in a care-home setting: 10.4% of residents were reported to have the condition. More than a third of care homes admitted to having no written hypoglycaemia policy, and over 60% of care homes had no diabetes screening policy. Almost all residents with diabetes (97%) were reported to have had an annual review with a GP; only 36% of care homes stated that they held annual review reports. A third of care homes admitted that they do not have direct access to diabetes education and training for their care home staff.

The key conclusion of this work suggests that improvements to the current regulatory framework are necessary, and that the development of new standards to cover diabetes in care homes should be undertaken as a matter of urgency. The audit report also suggests positive next steps relating to training and the recognition of excellence in diabetes care.

To access the full publication, click here (free to access).

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