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Lack of diabetes specialist nurses harms patient care

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Numbers of diabetes specialist nurses are decreasing despite rates of diabetes increasing, according to Diabetes UK.
The State of Nation 2015 report, launched on 14 January, analyses the current picture of diabetes treatment across the UK.
The report states that diabetes specialist nurses are a key part of high-quality, cost-effective care. Despite this the numbers of diabetes specialist nurse posts are being frozen according to an analysis by Diabetes UK in February 2014. In the 2013 National Diabetes Inpatient Audit, 31 per cent of sites said they had no diabetes specialist nurses.
In primary care, diabetes specialist nurses are important for minimising hospital admissions by supporting people with complex needs and helping people to self-manage their diabetes.
Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: 'Practice nurses are the healthcare professionals that are most likely to be carrying out regular checks and providing psychological support to patients.
'If they do not have the [necessary] training themselves, then it becomes difficult for them to support patients.'
The report highlights that conducting foot checks and eye checks are a key way to improve the care that people with diabetes receive. Foot checks will usually be carried out by practice nurses.
Furthermore the report outlines that there are major inconsistencies between CCGs and the number of patients that receive care for diabetes.
Ms Young said that there are great examples of innovation across the country but now it is time for practices that aren't performing as well to 'steal' ideas from those that are.
Speaking at the launch of the report health secretary Jeremy Hunt said that there needed to be a greater move towards prevention rather than cure and better care outside of hospitals to lower hospital admission rates.

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Comments

Would agree with louise here to a degree as many of us have experience and provided good diabetic reviews/care with good results however there is little time and money for training and most of our updates are self led in our own time. I agree there is probably not enough specialist nurses however many of us practice nurses have been providing good care over the years.
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My great concern re General Practice is there is no longer time to give adequte care and education. The priority is to tick the boces for QOF. I have now left my job in General Practice as I cannot compromise my care. I have 25 years Diabetes experience including insulin initiation, medication review and adjustment etc
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