NNUH initiative nominated for keeping patients with diabetes out of hospital

A Norfolk and Norwich University initiative aimed at preventing hospital admissions for patients with diabetes, has been selected as a finalist in the prestigious Quality in Care Diabetes 2012 Awards.

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'.

The team at NNUH’s diabetic foot clinic, one of the largest in the UK, have 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.

Ketan Dhatariya, Consultant Physician, said: “Our idea was to use intramuscular injections for infections that would, in the past, have been admitted for intravenous treatment. These injections are given by the district or practice nurses so that patients can stay at work and at home. Using this regime, we have saved the NHS about £4000 for each patient we have treated this way.”

Ketan Dhatariya added: “The multidisciplinary diabetic foot team which developed this treatment strategy are very proud to have been nominated for this prestigious national award.”

The initiative is a finalist in the Best Admissions Avoidance and/or Safe Discharge Initiative category. The QiC Diabetes Awards presentation will be held on Thursday 18th October.

Tuesday 16th of October 2012 11:00:26 AM