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  • Top picks: 5 key resources about diabetes

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    At Patient Safety Learning we believe that sharing insights and learning is vital to improving outcomes and reducing harm. That's why we created the hub; to provide a space for people to come together and share their experiences, resources and good practice examples.

    We’ve selected five useful resources about diabetes. Self-management is perhaps the most important aspect of treating diabetes effectively, so we've included some resources aimed at helping patients manage their diabetes too.

    Diabetes is a condition that causes the amount of glucose in a person's blood to be too high. When you have type 1 diabetes, your body can’t make any insulin at all, whereas with type 2, you either can’t make enough insulin, or it can’t work properly. There are also other types of diabetes including gestational diabetes, which some women develop during pregnancy, maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY) and latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA). It is important that people with diabetes are supported to maintain good blood glucose control through diet, insulin and other diabetes medications, to prevent both acute and long-term complications,


    1 NHS England - Language Matters: language and diabetes

    The language that healthcare professionals use to talk about diabetes can have a profound impact on how people living with diabetes, and those who care for them, experience their condition and feel about living with it. This guidance by NHS England sets out practical examples of language that will encourage positive interactions with people living with diabetes. When people with diabetes feel encouraged and empowered to manage their condition, it has been shown to make a difference to their health outcomes. The examples in ‘Language Matters’ are based on research and supported by a simple set of principles.

    2 Key things to remember if you use injectable medication to treat your diabetes

    This checklist by TREND Diabetes outlines the steps patients should take to ensure they inject their insulin or other diabetes medication correctly. It explains the importance of taking steps such as moving injection sites and changing needles, and outlines how failing to do this can affect blood glucose control.

    3 Improving safety for diabetic inpatients: 4 key steps

    In this video, Partha Kar, National Specialty Advisor for Diabetes, shares four steps to improve safety for inpatients with diabetes, based on information from the National Diabetes Inpatient Audit. He also highlights key resources to help staff improve their knowledge of diabetes and understand how to offer the safest care to people with diabetes when they are staying in hospital.

    4 How safe are closed loop artificial pancreas systems?

    Closed-loop artificial pancreas systems are self-regulating systems for administering insulin to patients with type 1 diabetes. They allow for tighter blood glucose control and reduce the decision-making burden for people with diabetes. 

    In this blog, Lotty Tizzard, Patient Safety Learning's Content and Engagement Manager, takes a look at the benefits and potential patient safety risks associated with closed-loop artificial pancreas systems (APS). People with diabetes have developed the algorithm that runs these systems and made it freely available to anyone wanting to build their own DIY artificial pancreas. This has spurred the medical tech industry to develop commercial systems, which will make the technology more widely available. But there are challenges in ensuring accessibility to all people with type 1 diabetes who would benefit from the technology, and there are questions about regulation and liability.

    5 Diabetes UK - Recovering diabetes care: preventing the mounting crisis

    This report is part of Diabetes UK’s Diabetes Is Serious campaign, and highlights how people with diabetes have been ‘pushed to the back of the queue’ during the coronavirus pandemic. It calls for a national recovery plan to support front-line healthcare teams in getting vital services back on track.  

    Diabetes UK warns that despite the tireless efforts of the NHS through the pandemic, many people living with diabetes are still struggling to access the care they need, putting them at risk of serious complications.

    Do you have a resource or story about diabetes to share? We’d love to hear about it - leave a comment below or join the hub to share your own post.

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