NNUH Diabetes team shortlisted in BMJ's Improving Health Awards
The Diabetes Foot Team at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) have been shortlisted for Diabetes Team of the Year in the BMJ's Improving Health Awards.
The Diabetes Team of the Year award recognises health professionals working in the field of diabetes in both primary and secondary care, who are under increasing pressure to combat one of the biggest health challenges in the UK today.
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 NNUHs 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.
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 developed 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.
Ketan Dhatariya, Consultant Physician at the NNUH, 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. This innovative approach reduced admissions by 61% and save the Trust about £4000 per patient treated this way.
Ketan Dhatariya added: Its great to get recognition for the hard work of the team. The data weve collated has been accepted for publication in a prestigious journal (Diabetic Medicine) and we also won another accolade for this work in October of last year – the Quality in Care awards for the 'Best admissions avoidance' category, as well as being one of a select group of projects being showcased at the Health Innovations Meeting in London in March.
The winners will be announced at the fifth BMJ Group Improving Health Awards which will take place on May 9, 2013 at the Westminster Park Plaza, London.