Diabetes team is recognised with award

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An inpatient diabetes team from Bedford Hospital has received national recognition at this year’s Quality in Care awards for diabetes.

Doctor Alison Melvin, who is consultant diabetologist at the Bedford Hospital NHS Trust, collected the Best Inpatient Care Initiative award at a ceremony held in Guildford on Thursday (October 18).

The hospital was recognised for a project which reduced the number of adult inpatients with diabetes, who experienced episodes of low blood glucose levels, known as hypoglyceamia or ‘hypos’.

Sharon Roberts, regional manager for Diabetes UK’s eastern region, said: “The experience of inpatients with diabetes in Bedford Hospital has been shown to have greatly improved thanks to this project, so Dr Melvin and her team fully deserve this recognition.

“One of the Diabetes UK 15 healthcare essentials is that every person with diabetes should receive high quality care if admitted to hospital, whether related to their diabetes or not, and staff knowledge of the condition is crucial to making this happen.

“It is fantastic that Dr Melvin has recognised where Bedford Hospital can improve its inpatient services and that her innovative project has produced such a marked increase in standards of care for diabetes patients.

“The fact that a hospital in our region is leading the way in innovative diabetes care is really pleasing and we hope that other inpatient teams will follow this example.”

If not treated, hypos can be very dangerous and people can become unconscious or have a fit.

After it was found that healthcare professionals at Bedford Hospital had poor knowledge of how to deal with hypos, the project was put into place to provide staff, such as ward nurses, junior doctors and senior doctors, with specific training schemes.

The way in which blood glucose levels were recorded at the hospital was also redesigned.

This resulted in a 50 per cent reduction in hypoglycaemia events and a 60 per cent reduction in recurrent hypoglycaemia events, along with a marked improvement in patient experience and staff knowledge in the most recent National Diabetes Inpatient Audit in 2011.

The annual Quality in Care Diabetes Programme provides a unique platform to showcase good practice and innovation from individuals, teams or organisations working together.