Audit reveals fewer people with type 1 diabetes having hypos whilst in hospital – but it’s not all good news

Posted on 16 March 2018

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The National Diabetes Inpatient Audit (NaDIA) has revealed that fewer hospital inpatients with type 1 diabetes are having episodes of hypoglycaemia, down from 26 percent in 2011 to 18 percent in 2017.

The audit, conducted by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, provides a snapshot of type 1 and type 2 diabetes inpatient care in England and Wales. It looks at people with diabetes who are admitted to hospital for any reason.

The report also contains news that more than a quarter of hospital sites have no diabetes inpatient specialist nurses (DISN), and just nine per cent of hospital sites provide seven day DISN provision.

Specialist teams can ensure that people with type 1 diabetes receiving inpatient care are getting the best support and interventions to manage their type 1 diabetes, alongside any other necessary treatment. A lack of specialist healthcare staff can lead to worse outcomes for patients.

The report also highlights that one in 25 of inpatients with Type 1 diabetes developed diabetic ketoacidosis in hospital as a result of under-treatment with insulin, a preventable complication.

Personal care, however, has shown significant improvement, with 72 per cent of patients being seen by the diabetes team where appropriate compared to only 58 per cent in 2011.

Speaking in his role as national clinical lead for Inpatient Diabetes, Gerry Rayman said:

“There is still a large variation in care…  Thus, there is still a lot more work to do be done across England and Wales if people with diabetes are to receive first class care and have confidence in their healthcare teams.”

Karen Addington, UK Chief Executive of JDRF, said:

“A stay in hospital can be a particularly anxious time for those living with type 1 diabetes. We welcome areas of improvement presented in this report, particularly the reduction of those having episodes of hypoglycaemia after being admitted to hospital. But progress must still be made.

“It is concerning to see 28 percent of hospitals across England and Wales have no DISNs. This must be addressed to ensure those with type 1 diabetes receive the care they need when on the ward.”

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This is the seventh annual NaDIA report, and includes data on the care of 16,010 inpatients, admitted at 208 hospital sites. Read the full report and associated hospital level reports.