Training introduced at East Sussex hospitals as part of Insulin Safety Week

A hospital trust has staged a week-long campaign to improve insulin safety.

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust staged Insulin Safety Week from Monday, April 24, to Sunday, April 30.

It was organised to reduce the number of serious incidents relating to the drug, with 46 per cent of patients treated with insulin in hospitals nationally having medication errors relating to insulin, according to the National Diabetes Inpatient Audit 2016.

The campaign was led by Conquest Hospital, based in St Leonards on Sea, with Eastbourne District General Hospital, which is also part of the trust, also taking part. It was funded and supported by chief executive, directors of nursing, and was done jointly with pharmacy and dietetics.

Safe use of insulin training was introduced during the week for both acute and community staff. Each participant is working towards completing a competency workbook. The rolling education programme is now embedded in the trust’s training thanks to support from the learning and development department.

The workshops cover hypos, hypers, self-care management, blood glucose monitoring, subcutaneous insulin injections, intravenous insulin preparation and management as well as self-administration assessment.

New locally-produced guidelines were also brought in. Insulin safety pen needles training was also carried out and covered more than 500 staff, as well as the insulin safety quiz which had same number of participants where prizes were sponsored by local businesses.

Members of the diabetes teams wore insulin safety t-shirts and there were also mugs, pens with pull-outs giving insulin tips and swatches distributed throughout the two hospitals as well as posters put up.

The 6Rs – right patient, right time, right route, right dose, right insulin, right device –  concept was developed and displayed on the merchandise and also on a trust-wide screensaver.

Erwin Castro, Senior Diabetes Specialist Nurse (DSN) at the trust, led the campaign at Conquest Hospital with support from Lead DSN Sally Faulkner, fellow DSNs Nikki Water, Amanda Combes and Sarah Jones and Diabetes Support Worker Claire Moor.

DSNs Karita Colvin, Helen O’Donnell and Sue Solomon alongside Diabetes Support Worker Sarah-Jane Wicks rolled out the campaign at Eastbourne District General Hospital.

Erwin said: “Insulin Safety Week gave us an opportunity to spread the message about the safe use of insulin throughout our two hospitals. As a diabetes team, we are always looking to improve diabetes care and this campaign was another example of our commitment to ensure high standards.”

Sally added: “Our Specialist Diabetes Team are very passionate about improving the standards of care provided to patients with diabetes, not just in the hospital but in all care settings. We continue to work tirelessly to provide education and training for all clinical staff in the effective and safe management of our patients with diabetes.

“We have introduced numerous initiatives aimed at reducing risks of prescription and administration errors which have been recognised nationally and Insulin Safety Week is the platform to promote this work.”