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Diabetes training for care homes

11th June 2019

Back in September 2018, district nurse Lucy Gaffney, took on a new role as Senior Community Diabetic Nurse.  One of the key objectives of the role was to pilot the Insulin Care Home Project across the north east Essex area, enabling care homes to manage their diabetic patients holistically.

The project provides training to staff on managing and undertaking blood glucose monitoring, administering insulin, managing and treating hypo and hyperglycaemic episodes, as well as gaining a greater understanding of diabetes and how it affects their residents.

Training care home staff frees up the district nursing team to focus on other patients in the community.  It has the additional benefit of providing residents with greater independence and much better glycaemic control. 

Wendy, duty manager of Parkdale Care Home, one of the homes that has received Lucy’s training commented:

“District nurse visits were not consistent and the time that insulin was administered varied between  8am – 10.45am.  This had a huge impact on Clare (the service user) as her morning routine would be disrupted to the point that she had to miss going to her day centre on a number of occasions as she would need insulin by 8.30am to ensure she was ready to go out when transport arrived.

“In addition as Clare is registered blind she feels much happier with our staff administering the insulin as she knows us all, whereas the district nurse was not the same person every time.

“We are really pleased with the training, along with the ongoing support we receive and I recommend it to any care home staff who support someone with diabetes”.

Over 180 care homes have been earmarked for the training which ACE will roll out in phases.  To date 14 homes have received the training.

 Lucy explains what a rewarding role it is:

“I love being a nurse, but this role in particular provides so much job satisfaction.  I know the work I am doing is having a positive impact on those people who have diabetes.  In addition to the care home training, I also help individuals to self-manage their condition.  This frees them up from waiting around for the district nurse to call.  Rather, they can self-administer their insulin, they have greater control and they can manage their diabetes themselves. 

“So many patients have shared with me how much better they feel and this shows in their HBA1c, which is their average blood glucose levels over several months.

“One gentleman, who no longer requires the district nurse visit as he is self-managing his condition, told me ‘It’s great, I can lay in now and don’t have to get up so early!’”

(Photo shows:  Lucy from ACE, Elaine and Wendy from Parkdale and resident Clare)

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