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The Link: Vol 13 No 4

Study on European Nurses in Diabetes
This study is funded by the Federation of European Nurses in Diabetes (FEND) and it aims to explore the current situation of diabetes nursing in Europe, with the UK being one of the eight participating countries. The findings of this study will be presented at the Annual FEND meeting in September 2009. The postal survey for the study was commenced in February 2009, and questionnaires were sent to all diabetes nurses in the UK registered in the Directory of Diabetes Care 2007.

It is now almost 2 months since we started the postal survey and we have received a large number of responses. We are extremely grateful to all the diabetes nurses who have taken the time to complete the questionnaires and contribute to this important study. The data collection deadline has been extended to 15 May 2009 and the more returned questionnaires we receive the more comprehensive the picture of diabetes nursing will be in the UK. We have been very encouraged by your responses so far but need more of them!

We would like to ask those of you who have not yet done so to return the completed questionnaire as soon as possible (before 15 May). If you have mislaid the questionnaire or are not registered in the Directory, please contact Liz Kamps (liz.kamps@uclh.nhs.uk) and you will receive another copy immediately.

Thanking you all in anticipation!

Liz Kamps and Sofia Llahana, SEND Study Group

FEND
The 14th FEND Annual Conference will be held on 25–26 September 2009 in Vienna, Austria. The theme is “Declarations, Recommendations,  Resolutions, Action!”

The conference will address highly relevant areas of diabetes care, research and education. Of particular interest will be the report from the FEND-commissioned research on the role of diabetes nurses in Europe (see above). Workshops will address key findings from this report, and your active participation will be critical to the future status of the specialty of diabetes nursing in the context of the epidemic and the emerging consensus that primary prevention is a public health imperative. The provisional programme can be viewed at www.fend.org. There is a sense of deja vu, as Vienna was the location for FEND’s first conference in 1996.

We look forward to welcoming you to Vienna, and above all your support and active contribution are critical and appreciated.

Anne-Marie Felton, FEND President;
Deirdre Kyne-Grzebalski, FEND Chairman

NHS Diabetes
NHS Diabetes – which works to support healthcare professionals in raising the quality of diabetes care – is pleased to announce that its regular news email will be re-launched on 1 May with an improved format.

The revamp will include a new section from the National Clinical Director for Diabetes, Rowan Hillson.

Instead of providing a weekly summary of diabetes-related news stories, the email, called the NSF Briefing, will now be sent monthly as part of a trial, and will provide a round-up of the most important stories affecting diabetes from the previous 4 weeks.

The new format will comprise:

  • A piece from the National Clinical Director.
  • A monthly update around the work of NHS Diabetes.
  • A round-up of the most important diabetes news stories.

The intention is to release the new briefing on the 1st of every month, or the date closest to the 1st if it falls on a weekend or bank holiday. To subscribe to the briefing, please send an email to enquiries@diabetes.nhs.uk.

Meanwhile, the team is hoping that the results of a recent survey, which found that almost 23000 children and young people have diabetes in England, will help to improve standards of care.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) carried out the work, which was funded by NHS Diabetes. The snapshot survey, “Growing up With Diabetes: Children and Young People with Diabetes in 2009”, commissioned by the Department of Health, gives accurate numbers of children and young people under the age of 18 with diabetes of any type in England. 

Liz Allan, the team’s diabetes information strategy project manager, said: “I am really pleased about how well the paediatricians worked together on this survey. It was a fantastic piece of collaborative work, and should provide value to those planning diabetes services, as you can’t plan ahead if you don’t know the scale of the problem.” She added: “I would like to see these results collected annually as part of the National Diabetes Audit, which currently has a 60% response rate.”

In other news, NHS Diabetes is preparing to support the change to the reporting of HbA1c with a publicity campaign. From 31 May 2011, HbA1c will be given in millimoles per mol (mmol/mol) instead of as a percentage.  

To help make this transition as easy as possible, all HbA1c results in the UK will be given as both a percentage and in mmol/mol from 1 June 2009 until 31 May 2011.

The test itself will remain the same, but this new way of reporting results will make it much easier to compare readings from different laboratories and research trials throughout the world. The equivalent of the HbA1c target of 6.5% will be 48 mmol/mol. Copies of three leaflets explaining the change – for people with diabetes, healthcare professionals and laboratory professionals – can be downloaded or ordered from our website: www.diabetes.nhs.uk.

Oliver Jelley, NHS Diabetes

RCN Paediatric and Adolescent Special Interest Group
As mentioned in the last edition of The Link, the RCPCH survey into the numbers of children with diabetes in the UK has been published, and the report can be viewed at: http://tinyurl.com/d98q8h. Judith Campbell, Secretary of RCN PADSIG has written at length about the report outcomes, and some of the pertinent points are below.

The survey has highlighted a greater number of children and young people in England with diabetes than has ever been previously recognised, with 22947 individuals 17 years of age or younger being affected by either type  1, type  2 or another form of diabetes (209/100000). Of these, 15408 are aged 5–15  years and in full-time education, with a further 5177 aged 16–17  years old. There are 858 children aged between 0–4  years with diabetes. 

Children and young people need to be supported in the management of their condition during school hours, more so with multiple daily injection regimens that require not only blood glucose testing but also insulin injections during the school day. 

Clearly, both health and education systems need to be working collaboratively at local levels to address these inequalities and seek help and advice from areas that have been at the forefront of finding workable solutions to these challenges. There are areas of best practice where local educational authorities and health providers have been able to generate local guidance for the support of children and young people with diabetes in educational settings. These solutions can be adapted to many other areas, and will ease the burden of “starting from scratch” in attempting to provide support for children and young people with diabetes in schools, colleges and early years settings.

Nursing care of children and young people with diabetes during both inpatient admissions and outpatient clinic attendances, plus support in the community once discharged home, will continue to be of utmost importance if high-quality care is to be achieved, in line with National Service Framework and NICE guidance. Specialist multidisciplinary teams consisting of a paediatrician with a special interest in diabetes, a paediatric diabetes nurse specialist, a dietitian and access to psychological support are recognised nationally as paramount in ensuring consistent delivery of appropriate high-quality care. 

Given the increasing numbers of children and young people with diabetes in England, and the geographical variables outlined in the RCPCH report, caseload numbers for specialist teams and individual members of the teams need to be carefully monitored and workloads assessed to ensure that appropriate service and support is available at all times across all ages, ethnicities, and geographical boundaries.

Judith Campbell, RCN Paediatric and Adolescent Special Interest Group

Diabetes UK
Diabetes UK has launched a new DVD for people with type  2 diabetes who have learning disabilities. The DVD, called Diabetes – Living a Healthier Life, will enable these people to have access to the same information about the condition as people with type 2 diabetes who do not have learning disabilities.

The charity has teamed up with Speakup, a self-help advocacy charity for people with learning disabilities to produce the DVD. It covers a range of topics including an explanation of what type 2 diabetes is, how to prevent it, how to manage and understand the condition, and the benefits of healthy eating and physical activity.

The DVD can be ordered by calling 0800 585 088, product code 3527. You can also order online at: www.diabetes.org.uk/healthierlifeDVD.

Sarah Milsom, Diabetes UK

Study on European Nurses in Diabetes
This study is funded by the Federation of European Nurses in Diabetes (FEND) and it aims to explore the current situation of diabetes nursing in Europe, with the UK being one of the eight participating countries. The findings of this study will be presented at the Annual FEND meeting in September 2009. The postal survey for the study was commenced in February 2009, and questionnaires were sent to all diabetes nurses in the UK registered in the Directory of Diabetes Care 2007.

It is now almost 2 months since we started the postal survey and we have received a large number of responses. We are extremely grateful to all the diabetes nurses who have taken the time to complete the questionnaires and contribute to this important study. The data collection deadline has been extended to 15 May 2009 and the more returned questionnaires we receive the more comprehensive the picture of diabetes nursing will be in the UK. We have been very encouraged by your responses so far but need more of them!

We would like to ask those of you who have not yet done so to return the completed questionnaire as soon as possible (before 15 May). If you have mislaid the questionnaire or are not registered in the Directory, please contact Liz Kamps (liz.kamps@uclh.nhs.uk) and you will receive another copy immediately.

Thanking you all in anticipation!

Liz Kamps and Sofia Llahana, SEND Study Group

FEND
The 14th FEND Annual Conference will be held on 25–26 September 2009 in Vienna, Austria. The theme is “Declarations, Recommendations,  Resolutions, Action!”

The conference will address highly relevant areas of diabetes care, research and education. Of particular interest will be the report from the FEND-commissioned research on the role of diabetes nurses in Europe (see above). Workshops will address key findings from this report, and your active participation will be critical to the future status of the specialty of diabetes nursing in the context of the epidemic and the emerging consensus that primary prevention is a public health imperative. The provisional programme can be viewed at www.fend.org. There is a sense of deja vu, as Vienna was the location for FEND’s first conference in 1996.

We look forward to welcoming you to Vienna, and above all your support and active contribution are critical and appreciated.

Anne-Marie Felton, FEND President;
Deirdre Kyne-Grzebalski, FEND Chairman

NHS Diabetes
NHS Diabetes – which works to support healthcare professionals in raising the quality of diabetes care – is pleased to announce that its regular news email will be re-launched on 1 May with an improved format.

The revamp will include a new section from the National Clinical Director for Diabetes, Rowan Hillson.

Instead of providing a weekly summary of diabetes-related news stories, the email, called the NSF Briefing, will now be sent monthly as part of a trial, and will provide a round-up of the most important stories affecting diabetes from the previous 4 weeks.

The new format will comprise:

  • A piece from the National Clinical Director.
  • A monthly update around the work of NHS Diabetes.
  • A round-up of the most important diabetes news stories.

The intention is to release the new briefing on the 1st of every month, or the date closest to the 1st if it falls on a weekend or bank holiday. To subscribe to the briefing, please send an email to enquiries@diabetes.nhs.uk.

Meanwhile, the team is hoping that the results of a recent survey, which found that almost 23000 children and young people have diabetes in England, will help to improve standards of care.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) carried out the work, which was funded by NHS Diabetes. The snapshot survey, “Growing up With Diabetes: Children and Young People with Diabetes in 2009”, commissioned by the Department of Health, gives accurate numbers of children and young people under the age of 18 with diabetes of any type in England. 

Liz Allan, the team’s diabetes information strategy project manager, said: “I am really pleased about how well the paediatricians worked together on this survey. It was a fantastic piece of collaborative work, and should provide value to those planning diabetes services, as you can’t plan ahead if you don’t know the scale of the problem.” She added: “I would like to see these results collected annually as part of the National Diabetes Audit, which currently has a 60% response rate.”

In other news, NHS Diabetes is preparing to support the change to the reporting of HbA1c with a publicity campaign. From 31 May 2011, HbA1c will be given in millimoles per mol (mmol/mol) instead of as a percentage.  

To help make this transition as easy as possible, all HbA1c results in the UK will be given as both a percentage and in mmol/mol from 1 June 2009 until 31 May 2011.

The test itself will remain the same, but this new way of reporting results will make it much easier to compare readings from different laboratories and research trials throughout the world. The equivalent of the HbA1c target of 6.5% will be 48 mmol/mol. Copies of three leaflets explaining the change – for people with diabetes, healthcare professionals and laboratory professionals – can be downloaded or ordered from our website: www.diabetes.nhs.uk.

Oliver Jelley, NHS Diabetes

RCN Paediatric and Adolescent Special Interest Group
As mentioned in the last edition of The Link, the RCPCH survey into the numbers of children with diabetes in the UK has been published, and the report can be viewed at: http://tinyurl.com/d98q8h. Judith Campbell, Secretary of RCN PADSIG has written at length about the report outcomes, and some of the pertinent points are below.

The survey has highlighted a greater number of children and young people in England with diabetes than has ever been previously recognised, with 22947 individuals 17 years of age or younger being affected by either type  1, type  2 or another form of diabetes (209/100000). Of these, 15408 are aged 5–15  years and in full-time education, with a further 5177 aged 16–17  years old. There are 858 children aged between 0–4  years with diabetes. 

Children and young people need to be supported in the management of their condition during school hours, more so with multiple daily injection regimens that require not only blood glucose testing but also insulin injections during the school day. 

Clearly, both health and education systems need to be working collaboratively at local levels to address these inequalities and seek help and advice from areas that have been at the forefront of finding workable solutions to these challenges. There are areas of best practice where local educational authorities and health providers have been able to generate local guidance for the support of children and young people with diabetes in educational settings. These solutions can be adapted to many other areas, and will ease the burden of “starting from scratch” in attempting to provide support for children and young people with diabetes in schools, colleges and early years settings.

Nursing care of children and young people with diabetes during both inpatient admissions and outpatient clinic attendances, plus support in the community once discharged home, will continue to be of utmost importance if high-quality care is to be achieved, in line with National Service Framework and NICE guidance. Specialist multidisciplinary teams consisting of a paediatrician with a special interest in diabetes, a paediatric diabetes nurse specialist, a dietitian and access to psychological support are recognised nationally as paramount in ensuring consistent delivery of appropriate high-quality care. 

Given the increasing numbers of children and young people with diabetes in England, and the geographical variables outlined in the RCPCH report, caseload numbers for specialist teams and individual members of the teams need to be carefully monitored and workloads assessed to ensure that appropriate service and support is available at all times across all ages, ethnicities, and geographical boundaries.

Judith Campbell, RCN Paediatric and Adolescent Special Interest Group

Diabetes UK
Diabetes UK has launched a new DVD for people with type  2 diabetes who have learning disabilities. The DVD, called Diabetes – Living a Healthier Life, will enable these people to have access to the same information about the condition as people with type 2 diabetes who do not have learning disabilities.

The charity has teamed up with Speakup, a self-help advocacy charity for people with learning disabilities to produce the DVD. It covers a range of topics including an explanation of what type 2 diabetes is, how to prevent it, how to manage and understand the condition, and the benefits of healthy eating and physical activity.

The DVD can be ordered by calling 0800 585 088, product code 3527. You can also order online at: www.diabetes.org.uk/healthierlifeDVD.

Sarah Milsom, Diabetes UK

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