Two in five people with diabetes who use insulin experience an error related to the administration of the drug while in hospital according to national audit figures and Walsall Healthcare’s specialist nurses and pharmacists are playing their part in trying to reduce this number.
They are staging a week-long awareness campaign as part of National Insulin Safety Week which runs from 20-26 May and as well as highlighting the issue they will be staging staff training events.
Insulin is frequently included in the list of top ten high alert medicines worldwide and has the potential to cause significant harm even when used as intended. Insulin errors can cause potentially fatal complications including diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hypoglycaemia.
Liz Payne, Principal Pharmacist and Medicines Safety Officer with Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “The first ever national Insulin Safety Week was last May and healthcare staff from hospitals and GP practices took part all over the country signalling their commitment to help improve care.
“We are working together again this year to raise awareness of the dangers of insulin errors and to offer our staff both additional training and the support to encourage patients to self-manage their diabetes where appropriate.”
Walsall Healthcare’s Diabetes Nurse Specialist Team and Pharmacists will be hosting a stand either in the Main Atrium of Walsall Manor Hospital or next to Costa Coffee between 12noon and 2pm each day during Insulin Safety Week to promote key messages.
They will also be visiting wards throughout the week to assess safe storage of insulin, safe prescribing and administration of insulin.
Staff will also be encouraged to complete a “Safe use of Insulin in Hospital” learning programme which has been made available for the rest of this month.