Diabetics get 'wrong medication'

One in every three diabetic patients are given the wrong medication while in hospital, a new report suggests.

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Clinician: 'Grave concern' that staffing levels remain low

The lead clinician for the National Diabetes Inpatient Audit, Dr Gerry Rayman said the purpose of the audit is to "drive improvements in care for inpatients with diabetes". He added:

I am pleased to see there has been some progress on problems highlighted in previous years' reports, for instance around insulin prescribing.

But staffing levels remain low, and it is of grave concern that some patients are developing DKA, which is a potentially life-threatening complication in hospital. This is due to their needs being neglected and should simply never happen.

Charity: Figures suggest 'insulin has been witheld'

The National Diabetes Inpatient Audit, which examined data from 13,400 patients, found that a fifth of patients suffered from hypoglycaemia while in hospital.

Bridget Turner, director of policy and care improvement at Diabetes UK, said that "even a single" case of ketoacidosis developing in hospital is "unacceptable" as it suggests insulin "has been withheld from that person for some time".

The fact that this is regularly happening raises serious questions about the ability of hospitals to provide even the most basic level of diabetes care.

In every aspect of hospital diabetes care that this report shines a light on, the picture that emerges is profoundly disturbing.

Medication errors are being made with alarming regularity, large numbers of people are not getting foot checks that we know can help prevent amputation, while one in 10 people's blood glucose level is dropping dangerously low during their hospital stay.

Put together, this adds up to a situation where in too many cases hospitals are doing people with diabetes more harm than good.


Survey: One in three diabetics given wrong medication

A new report suggests that one in every three diabetic patients in England and Wales are given the wrong medication whilst in hospital.

A third of patients experienced a "medication error" during the five-day National Diabetes Inpatient Audit.

A patient undergoing a blood test for diabetes, one in every three diabetic patients are given the wrong medication while in hospital Credit: Hugo Philpott/PA Wire

Conducted last September, the audit found that 61 patients developed a life-threatening but preventable complication due to poor care.

Diabetes UK said it was "appalling" that any patients should develop diabetic ketoacidosis during a hospital stay.

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