A new guide for managing insulin administration in the community, including safely delegating the task to non-registered staff, has been launched by Diabetes UK.
The two-part guide is aimed at helping community and district nurses, and diabetes specialist nurses to improve their caseload management and develop an insulin delegation programme.
“We know that this is an area where staff can often feel concerned about issues of accountability”
The first part of the guide, which was launched this week at the Diabetes UK Professional Conference in Glasgow, focuses on reviewing the community diabetes caseload.
It includes guidance on reviewing individual patients as well as the caseload as a whole to understand how care is being delivered.
It will support community teams to think about standards of care, staffing and caseload management processes, said the charity.
The second part focuses on developing an insulin delegation programme, where a nurse allocates the task of insulin administration to a non-registered practitioner, such as a healthcare assistant.
“Community nurses are likely to have a growing caseload of people who require support to manage their diabetes”
The guide provides step-by-step guidance on developing the right policies and procedures, training and competency assessment, as well as clarifying the question of accountability.
Helen Atkins, a diabetes specialist nurse at University Hospital Leicester, who was part of the working group that developed the guide, said: “We know that this is an area where staff can often feel concerned about issues of accountability.
“This guide offers solutions to empower community staff to deliver care safely, by developing the knowledge and skills of community staff,” she said.
“There is huge potential to save time and money by ensuring the most effective use of staff time, and improve patient care delivery,” said Ms Atkins.
She added: “The guide gives them all the tools they need to develop an insulin delegation programme, from planning to preparing policies and procedures, checking competencies, designing and implementing training and evaluation.”
Simon O’Neill, director of Health Intelligence and Professional Liaison at Diabetes UK, said: “Community nurses are likely to have a growing caseload of people who require support to manage their diabetes, including being given insulin injections.
“It is therefore becoming increasingly important that more community staff are given the knowledge and skills to care for people with diabetes,” he said.
The guide, accredited by the Royal College of Nursing, TREND UK and the UK Clinical Pharmacy Association was developed in consultation with a working group of healthcare professionals with a special interest in this area.
It can be downloaded from the Diabetes UK website.