Innovative idea for treating patients with diabetes receives national and international recognition
An initiative led by consultants at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which aims to prevent hospital admissions for patients with diabetes, has won a prestigious award.
NNUHs diabetic foot clinic, one of the largest in the UK, has pioneered a way of keeping patients with diabetes related foot infections out of hospital. International guidelines on treating these infections state to use oral antibiotics or intravenous antibiotics for more severe infections. However, giving intravenous antibiotics almost always means a patient has to be admitted to hospital.
The multidisciplinary team working at NNUHs diabetic foot clinic made up of diabetes, vascular, and orthopaedic consultants together with the specialist podiatrists worked with the microbiology department and pharmacy to develop the use of intramuscular injections for infections that would, in the past, have been admitted for intravenous treatment. Injections are given by the district or practice nurses so that patients can stay at work and at home. Using this method has helped save the NHS about £4000 for each patient who has been treated this way.
The team won a Quality in Care Diabetes Award in the Best Admissions Avoidance and/or Safe Discharge Initiative category at an awards ceremony on Thursday evening.
Dr Ketan Dhatariya, Consultant Physician, said: My team and I were delighted to win. This award is national recognition from our peers across the UK that our work is a truly innovative approach to treating this important problem. This achievement is a reward for everyone who works in the multidisciplinary diabetic foot clinic at NNUH. The work that we did for this initiative has also been accepted for publication in a major international diabetes journal, so we hope that our novel approach can help patients with diabetes related foot infections all over the world.
Dr Jeremy Turner, Consultant Endocrinologist, was also awarded highly commended for his work developing www.diabetesbible.com, an online guide for health professionals which helps with the diagnosis and management of diabetes. The website can be used as a training tool, a clinical prompt, or a referral management system, helping to identify patients who may benefit from specialist referral and assessment.
Dr Turner said: While diabetes increases in prevalence every day, the proportion of time spent on diabetes in the medical school curriculum is limited. Diabetesbible provides an opportunity to tackle this challenge in a practical, interactive way, and in a media with which younger doctors and nurses are comfortable.
Notes for editors
In Norfolk, 2,500 people every year are diagnosed with diabetes and there are just under 50,000 people with diabetes in the region. Poorly controlled diabetes can lead to health problems including stroke, heart attacks, eye disease, kidney disease and nerve disease. Foot problems are the most common cause of diabetes related hospital admissions in the UK, with most being due to ulceration and infection caused by nerve disease. £1 in every £150 spent in the entire NHS is spent on treating the 'diabetic foot'.