Diabetes teams, based at Cheltenham General Hospital and Gloucestershire Royal Hospital are celebrating a triumphant year after winning a prestigious national award for raising awareness of a complication of the condition.
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been presented with the Excellence Award for its management of a “significant campaign” during Insulin Safety Week, which is staged to recognise initiatives that improve the quality of life for people living with diabetes.
Diabetes teams at the two sites, which are both part of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, carried out a range of activities including the introduction of an ‘Insulin Buddy’ nurse on each ward to ensure that the correct insulin is prescribed at the right time to patients. Informative posters were displayed to explain the new role and members of the diabetes team were on hand to answer questions and support staff.
The team picked up the accolade, beating off 14 other finalists, at the tenth annual Quality in Care (QiC) Diabetes Awards which were live-streamed to more than 1000 people on Thursday, 15 October.
Iona Skuse, Diabetes Inpatient Specialist Nurse, said: “I have recently taken on the role of Diabetes Inpatient Specialist Nurse at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. I have enjoyed working closely with the healthcare professionals on the wards and appreciate all their hard work to help improve insulin safety and diabetes care.
“I am grateful to the diabetes team and the Trust for supporting Insulin Safety Week by promoting the ‘Insulin Buddy’ initiative and education on the wards.
“Winning the award has been an incredible boost to everyone involved and we are looking forward to making continued improvements to our diabetes patients’ experiences”.
Judges praised the trust’s “whole” approach to spreading the Insulin Safety Week message which included daily emails issued by the Trust’s communications team and a video blog (vlog) delivered by the Trust’s Chief Executive, Deborah Lee.
Two in five people with diabetes on insulin (40 per cent) experience an error related to the administration of the drug while in hospital, according to the results from the latest National Diabetes Inpatient Audit.
In response national Insulin Safety Week was launched in 2019 and took place between July 6 and 12.
This year, 502 sites, made up of hospitals, medical centres, care homes and pharmacies, participated in the seven-day awareness campaign, sponsored by Sanofi.
Participating sites staged training events to raise awareness. Resources, including leaflets, guidelines and educational slides, were used to help spread the word.
Becky Reeve, Head of Professional Relations at Sanofi, sponsors of the event, said: “The passion, dedication and innovation displayed by all of the diabetes teams across the two sites under the umbrella of the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust were exceptional. We applaud the teams for following through their ideas to make a difference to people with diabetes who come under their care.”
Oliver Jelley, Managing Director of Orange Juice Communications, was tasked with deciding the winner.
He said: “Congratulations go to everyone involved at the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for their efforts in spreading the Insulin Safety message.
“The innovative thinking about how best to make a difference to people with diabetes in their care makes it a pleasure to judge and we have been amazed by what has been achieved whilst strict guidelines are in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Each and every team across the country should be proud of the difference they are making to the lives of people with diabetes and it is a privilege to be able to reward the work of diabetes teams, who often don’t get the recognition they deserve.”
Insulin Safety Week was organised by Orange Juice Communications and has been funded by Sanofi who have had no input into any arrangements or content.