Initiative addresses inconsistencies in care

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has announced the imminent launch of a programme to improve and standardise diabetes care in hospitals across the UK.

Since the inception of the National Diabetes Inpatient Audit, launched in 2010, some improvements to in-patient care have been noted by Diabetes UK, but the charity found that serious medication issues affected 260,000 patients with diabetes, with 1 in 25 people with Type 1 diabetes experiencing hospital-induced diabetes ketoacidosis (DKA) as a result of under treatment with insulin in 2017. Moreover, the report highlighted a lack of any universal standard for measuring hospitals’ performance and a lack of confidence by junior doctors and other frontline staff in managing diabetes.

Those issues prompted Diabetes UK to partner with RCP’s accreditation unit to address standardising care and providing quality assurance with the view of allowing hospitals to look, in detail, at how they provide diabetes care and how they compare against others.

The Diabetes Care Accreditation Programme (DCAP) standards, due to come into effect on 31 May, were developed by the Joint British Diabetes Societies Inpatient Group (JBDS-IP), the Association of British Clinical Diabetologists, the Diabetes Inpatient Specialist Nurse UK group, and diabetes patients who took part in a pilot programme.

Esther Walden, senior clinical advisor at Diabetes UK, said: “The pilot programme showed that DCAP helped teams review their services and identify gaps in care provision, further develop collaborative working, and increase their ability to evidence the care being provided.”

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