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Audit of care home diabetes care starts

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A drive to improve the quality of diabetes care in care homes has been launched.

The first ever Care Home Diabetes Audit will assess the level of diabetes care provided in residential and nursing homes in England. More than a quarter of residents are thought to have diabetes.

Care homes owners are being encouraged to take part in the survey to examine current diabetes procedures and practices, and to inform the development of future quality standards that could be used by the Care Quality Commission.  

The national initiative is being led by the Institute of Diabetes for Older People and the Association of British Clinical Diabetologists, with the support of groups including the Royal College of Nursing and Diabetes UK.

Audit questionnaires will be sent to care homes across the country. A summary of the key findings will be available to participants.

A recent pilot carried out in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire revealed significant variations in access to diabetes training and education for care home staff, as well as evidence of inconsistent documentation, including specific policies for the management of diabetes.

Audit lead Alan Sinclair, IDOP director and national clinical lead for diabetes in older people, said: “The primary purposes of this audit are firstly, to ascertain what areas of diabetes care within residential settings can be further supported and secondly, to gain better insight into the difficulties of providing enhanced care.

“This audit has the potential to improve care for older people with diabetes living in care homes in England, and give insight on how to provide staff with the training and support that they need, as well as assisting managers and policymakers to allocate resources,” he added.

The project follows the publication in 2010 of national guidance on diabetes in care homes by Diabetes UK, which has sought to enhance the standard of care received by residents with diabetes.

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