Skip to content
left end
left end
right end

Bristol Hospital Trials New Tool Improve Care Diabetic Patients

 18th March 2009

 University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust is one of five NHS Trusts across the country to trial a new toolkit which looks set to revolutionise diabetes in-patient care across the health service.

The new toolkit, which aims to help staff improve the experience of patients admitted to hospital with diabetes, has been developed by the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement.

The toolkit follows recent NHS Institute research, which shows that up to 20% of all hospital in-patients have diabetes, regardless of the reason for their admission and that these patients can have longer lengths of stay and may be more likely to suffer complications such as infection, heart attack and stroke.

Trialed at the Trusts Bristol Royal Infirmary since September 2008, the ThinkGlucose toolkit has helped frontline staff tackle these challenges and improve the experience of patients with diabetes by educating staff on treatment and early diagnosis and improving their use of insulin.

The NHS Institute worked with University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and four other NHS Trusts across the country to test the toolkit.  The kit includes a handy, credit card-sized referral guide; advice on using insulin; audit tools; and staff prompts such as posters and mousemats.

Initial results using the ThinkGlucose toolkit have shown that by working with the patients to manage their own condition, less strain is put on specialist diabetes nurses who are able to focus more on patients that need most attention. Early results demonstrate an opportunity to reduce length of stay by around four days per patient.

Jane Godfrey, Diabetes Nurse Specialist at the Trust, says: Our trials so far have revealed that the ThinkGlucose toolkit will improve patient care by helping our staff and patients to work effectively together to manage diabetes. In particular, we found the traffic light referral system improved the appropriateness of referrals.

Sandra Corry, Programme Lead at the NHS Institute said: Were developing this toolkit to help frontline healthcare professionals effectively support and manage patients with secondary diagnosis of diabetes while in hospital.  Results so far have been heartening and show that making small changes to care can make big differences in patient experience.

The toolkit will be launched to the wider NHS in April 2009, helping all staff make easy and effective changes to the care they provide.