Luton and Dunstable University Hospital wins national award for diabetes campaign

Diabetes teams based at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Luton and Dunstable were presented with a distinguished award for its “interactive” insulin safety campaign.

Luton and Dunstable University Hospital received the Insulin Safety Week Excellence Award for hosting a plethora of educational activities during the campaign, which is staged to recognise initiatives that improve the quality of life for people living with diabetes.

The teams carried out games and quizzes to raise awareness amongst healthcare professionals of ways to identify, avoid and reduce insulin errors.

Educational sessions and seminars by diabetes specialist nurses also took place during the annual awareness week.

To mark the national campaign, the team also performed a song dedicated to Insulin Safety Week to the soundtrack of Abba’s Mamma Mia.

The team picked up the accolade at the 12th Quality in Care (QiC) Diabetes Awards, which took place on Thursday, October 13, at Sanofi’s UK headquarters in Reading.

Dr Shiu-Ching Soo, Clinical Director in Diabetes & Endocrinology at Luton and Dunstable Hospital, said: “The entire diabetes team at our hospital has worked tirelessly throughout the year to promote insulin safety. Behind the scenes, the team focuses working with pharmacists and IT to design systems to reduce insulin errors and improve patient outcomes.

“Insulin Safety Week gives the team the opportunity to raise awareness, promoting in a fun and engaging way all aspects of insulin safety to all staff in the hospital. Our talented and resourceful diabetes team made the week a huge success and it was a refreshing and interactive learning experience.

“We are ecstatic and proud to say that our first QiC entry won the ‘Insulin Safety Week Award’. The diabetes team morale is boosted, and the challenge now is how can we improve in the future?”

 Jocelyn Garchitorena, Lead Diabetes Specialist Nurse at Luton and Dunstable Hospital, said: “We are grateful to the organisers and the awarding body for giving such an opportunity to showcase what we do differently for the delivery of quality and safe diabetes care. The team were elated to make history for our hospital.

“This is one of our team’s visions, to put the Luton and Dunstable diabetes team on the map nationally. Behind our success is a dynamic team whose members are enthusiastic, energetic and forward thinkers.

“We have managed to overcome the challenges posed by the COVID pandemic as well as individual personal hurdles through with our perseverance, dedication, patience and resilience.”

Judges praised the team for spreading important advice around insulin safety beyond the annual awareness week.

 Approximately 40 per cent of people with diabetes on insulin experience an error related to the administration of the drug while in hospital, data has shown.

This year, 425 sites, made up of hospitals and other healthcare settings, participated in the seven-day awareness campaign, sponsored by Sanofi.

Participating sites staged training events to raise awareness. Resources, including leaflets, guidelines and posters, were used to help spread the word.

Rebecca Reeve, Head of Customer Engagement & Professional Relations, UK and Ireland General Medicines at Sanofi, said: “Congratulations to everyone involved at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital for their efforts in spreading the vital insulin safety message.

“Every team across the country should be proud of the difference they are making to the lives of people with diabetes. It is a privilege to be able to give these teams 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.