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Doctors' diabetes prescriptions should be checked by nurses, says research

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Nurses’ role in ensuring that prescriptions for diabetics are correct has been highlighted by new research

Researchers from the Royal Liverpool University Hospital looked at 75 diabetics’ charts and found that one in six had prescription errors.

Diabetes UK’s care advisor Cathy Moulton said: “Administering medication is not simply just following doctor’s orders. All nurses have a duty of care to their patients and must exercise their professional accountability and competence accordingly.

“If a nurse cannot read the prescription clearly, they must always get confirmation from the prescribing doctor and never guess or assume what may be intended,” she added.

For people with diabetes who treat their condition with insulin, their daily regime is vital to good diabetes management.

Royal Liverpool University Hospital’s lead researcher Dr Nagaraj Malipatil said: “Insulin prescribing, has for a long time been subject to less scrutiny and is prescribed less diligently because it is such a common medication in hospitals. Our audit has demonstrated an unacceptably high percentage of errors.

“We undertook a re-audit after intensive training of junior doctors and members of the team have shown significant reduction in prescription errors.”

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Readers' comments (2)

  • I thought pharmacists also checked prescription charts? is this not the case any more?

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  • yes gp and nursing managers should be disiplined for allowing their nurses to give a incorrest dose of insulin, i was working on the community, and told that i was to give inslin via a scliding scale of insulin, i contacted the diabetic sister, at the hospital and told not to give the patient insulin as per this regime, as it was the wrong insulin and there was many issues around the rezime, the gp hadnt even sigh the care plan, and because i seeked the advise of the diabetic sister i was disiplined for not giveing the insulin via this route,,,,,,,

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