Diabetes care in secondary care
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on both inpatient and outpatient diabetes secondary care in the UK, with many diabetes specialist services being suspended and teams re-deployed to work on the frontline, while others are shielding at home. Although this has been unsettling and challenging, it has presented diabetes teams with opportunities to re-set and innovate some of their ways of working. The pandemic occurred against a backdrop of the most recent National Diabetes Inpatient Audit data (NHS Digital, 2020), which showed a prevalence of inpatient diabetes of 18% (an increase from 14% in 2010), increases in patient harms including diabetic ketoacidosis, and insulin errors and 18% of hospitals lacking inpatient diabetes specialist nurse cover (NHS Digital, 2020). In addition, teams were working towards guidance from Diabetes UK (2018) regarding ‘Making hospitals safe for people with diabetes’ with recommendations of having sufficient diabetes inpatient specialist nurses to run a daily and weekend service.
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