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Looking back on 2018

Su Down
Su Down looks back at the major events in the diabetes world in 2018.

Well, our first year as an online journal is nearly complete! I am proud to say that we have some really positive statistics and access to key information that being online provides us. Our readership is growing month on month, and we now have almost 3500 unique viewers with every edition.

The easiest way to stay up to date with the journal is to sign up to our e-newsletter. If you are not receiving it, please email us, as we are aware that we’re being blocked by several NHS spam filters.

Analysis of our most-read content suggests that the most popular pieces are editorials and comments. Next year, we will aim to be publishing more of this short-form content, while still providing a valuable platform for diabetes nurses to publish their ideas and research in longer-form articles. The journal remains totally focused and committed to providing the platform for nurses working in diabetes care to receive current, up-to-date and relevant information, and to share best practice. Next year we will continue with plans both to widen our readership and reach, and to deliver key topics in the most attractive and easily accessed format.

The year in review
As 2018 draws to a close, it’s a time when we reflect on the key events that have taken place and ponder on what the New Year will bring.

The year has seen some major events in the diabetes world:

  1. Key cardiovascular outcome trials that suggest a different approach to the management of type 2 diabetes is necessary.
  2. Technology advances for the monitoring of glucose levels and a major national campaign to make this (and future technology) available across the UK.
  3. Examples of excellent innovations in care delivery at the Quality in Care Diabetes Awards.
  4. Investment in key areas of care through the transformation funding.
  5. The results of the DiRECT study demonstrating the real possibility of putting type 2 diabetes into remission (Lean et al, 2018).
  6. Frailty being made a predominant factor in the QOF targets for 2019/20.
  7. A national prevention strategy for type 2 diabetes.
  8. The first child to receive an artificial pancreas.

It’s not all been such good news, though, and we have seen some concerning facts published:

  1. The number of children with type 2 diabetes has reached almost 7000 across the UK (Diabetes UK, 2018).
  2. The number of medication errors that still happen within our hospitals. The figures indicate that a third of patients will experience a medication error during their hospital stay (NHS Digital, 2018).
  3. The continual rise in type 2 diabetes prevalence.

Looking ahead to next year
I can hardly write this final editorial of the year without mentioning Brexit! This could potentially have a real impact on our ability to provide adequate care, not only from potential staffing issues but also from a real possibility of shortage of access to drugs, particularly insulin. I read with alarm the Government’s planned contingency strategy for the restriction and centralisation of medications if shortages become a real issue after 29 March 2019 (Department of Health and Social Care, 2018). We can only hope that this extreme measure does not become necessary!

I will sign off by wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. I look forward to continuing my role as Editor-in-Chief in 2019.


Diabetes UK (2018) Nearly 7,000 children and young adults with type 2 diabetes. DUK, London. Available at: (accessed 14.12.18)
Department of Health and Social Care (2018) Medicines Supply Contingency Planning Programme. HM Government, London. Available at: (accessed 14.12.18)
Lean ME, Leslie WS, Barnes AC et al (2018) Primary care-led weight management for remission of type 2 diabetes (DiRECT): an open-label, cluster-randomised trial. Lancet 391: 541–51
NHS Digital (2018) National Diabetes Inpatient Audit (NaDIA) – 2017. NHS Digital, Leeds. Available at: (accessed 14.12.18)

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