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Nurse briefs MPs over diabetes

ruth miller diabetesRuth Miller (standing, left), lead diabetes nurse at Poole Hospital, was invited to address the All Party Parliamentary Group on diabetes at the House of Commons this week.

Ruth, who is also a clinical champion for the Diabetes UK charity, briefed MPs on a 10 point training tool she has devised that gives healthcare staff the key facts on diabetes, helping them to give patients with the condition better care.

Ruth explains more about the 10 point tool and her role with Diabetes UK.


What is the training tool?

I developed the Diabetes 10 point training tool in 2014 in recognition of the fact that inpatient diabetes is often not managed as well as it could be, and that this seems to be a national problem. I was able to draw on my experience of  improvement projects at The Royal Free Hospital where I was clinical lead for diabetes. The 10 point training programme is a set of core competencies that all clinicians need to know in order to keep their patients safe. 

Who is it aimed at?

Training is aimed at all patient facing staff but primarily for all doctors and nurses

What does it do?

The objective of the training is to equip all doctors and nurses with the core skills needed to safely manage diabetes by reducing the incidence of insulin related errors and serious untoward incidents related to diabetes, both of which pose a risk to patient safety. Ultimately patient outcomes will improve, leading to an improvement in patient satisfaction.

What did MPs make of the tool?

The presentation was well received.  There is currently a great deal of interest around ways to reduce drug and medication errors in hospitals, which are made with ‘alarming regularity by the majority of hospitals', according to the Diabetes UK. The charity adds: ‘Raising serious questions about the ability of hospitals to provide even the most basic level of diabetes care’

Guidelines are ever more complex and ward staff are often overwhelmed with conflicting pressures. 

Therefore the 10 point training is fast and concise, ensuring that the key messages are delivered. It takes approximately 30 minutes , is inexpensive, can be adapted to any hospital environment and above all, it's effective.

What does being a Diabetes UK clinical champion involve?

I became a Diabetes UK Champion in 2014.  I was selected for the role based on inpatient improvement work I had been involved with at The Royal Free Hospital in London.  Diabetes UK described champions as 'catalysts for change, working closely with local decision makers to ensure diabetes is at the top of the health agenda and to implement innovative solutions to local problems’.

What would you like to see in the future for diabetes care?

I would like to see all nurses and doctors trained in the programme. I would anticipate that we could expect to see a continuing improvement in patient care and a marked reduction in the risk of the occurrence of diabetes related serious untoward incidents.  Ultimately, improving patient care is what gets me up in the morning!

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB. Tel: 01202 665511

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