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Diabetes: Nurses

Volume 485: debated on Tuesday 9 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the role of diabetes specialist nurses in ensuring that people with diabetes achieve the recommended HbA1c levels; (240286)

(2) what assessment he has made of the role of diabetes specialist nurses in improving standards of care for those admitted to hospital with particular reference to (a) access to the inpatient diabetes specialist nurses, (b) reducing medicines error and length of stay and (c) production of local guidelines regarding continuity of care once patients are discharged into the community.

The Department has not made a formal assessment of the role of diabetes specialist nurses in helping people with diabetes achieve recommended HbA1c levels or in improving standards of care for those admitted to hospital.

We are clear, however, that diabetes specialist teams, including diabetes specialist nurses, are a vital part of good diabetes care. The importance of this team working was highlighted in the National Diabetes Support Team’s 2007 report “Diabetes in the NHS”. In 2008 the National Diabetes Support Team also produced Improving emergency and in-patient care for people with diabetes’, which sets out the valuable role that diabetes in-patient specialist nurses can play in improving the experience of people with diabetes in hospital, reducing length of stay and reducing rates of readmission. A copy of this report has been placed in the Library.