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Injection Technique Matters – Best Practice in Diabetes Care

Debbie Hicks
Debbie Hicks introduces a new initiative and resource to improve injection technique for people on insulin therapy.

In 2009 I was the founder of an educational initiative to raise awareness about the importance of using correct injection technique in the management of diabetes among those people who were taking insulin therapy. At that time we knew there were approximately 800 000 people using injectable therapy in the UK. People generally are living longer with diabetes and many require insulin therapy to maintain good glucose control, so this number is growing year on year.

I think the biggest challenge we faced launching that initiative was trying to convince healthcare professionals, mainly nurses, that there was more to injection technique that “just sticking the needle in and injecting the insulin”. Over the years, and with the benefit of some really practical research to support the campaign, we have managed to raise the profile of the role of correct injection technique in improving HbA1c, reducing glycaemic variation and reducing unplanned admissions for severe hypoglycaemia through the recognition and prevention of lipohypertrophy.

In early 2018 the campaign lost momentum for a various reasons; however, a new initiative, Injection Technique Matters – Best Practice in Diabetes Care was launched on World Diabetes Day in November at the Diabetes Professional Care Conference in London. We also launched our new Injection Technique Matters – Best Practice in Diabetes Care Guideline for healthcare professionals and the Injection Technique Matters – Best Practice in Diabetes Care Toolkit for people with diabetes using injectable therapies. Our sponsors are B Braun, GlucoRx and Owen Mumford, who strongly believe in the message that is in our name.

During the two-day conference, we had a programme of presentations linked to injection technique. The sessions included a live demonstration each day on “How to examine injection sites for lipohypertrophy”, and were kindly aided by people with diabetes who allowed lots of healthcare professionals to experience what a lipo actually feels like. The TREND-UK theatre was packed to bursting each day. Everyone who attended any session, or the event as a whole, was given the new resources. We actually gave out over 4000 copies of each via the sessions, within the networking and lounge area, and at the sponsors’ exhibition stands.

This new initiative is managed under the umbrella of TREND-UK, a widely respected organisation within diabetes nursing. All our Injection Technique Matters – Best Practice in Diabetes Care resources are free to download from the TREND-UK website at www.trend-uk.org. In addition, all the resources are available as hard copies directly from the sponsors.

Injection Technique Matters – Best Practice in Diabetes Care is chaired by myself Debbie Hicks (Nurse Consultant – Diabetes, Enfield) and the Board includes Dr Debra Adams (Senior Infection Prevention and Control Advisor, NHS Improvement), Jane Diggle (Specialist Practice Nurse, South Kirkby) and Carole Gelder (CYP Diabetes Nurse, Leeds), plus people with diabetes who advised on the content and language. We are extremely proud of these resources and hope they will help ensure that people with diabetes who need to inject will get the best injection care that they deserve.

We have a range of new Injection Technique Matters – Best Practice in Diabetes Care resources being launched throughout 2019, so look out for these from your local B Braun, GlucoRx or Owen Mumford representatives, or on our website.

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