Diabetes UK, in partnership with Bupa, has created Diabetes in Healthcare, a free e-learning programme designed to help improve the knowledge and understanding of diabetes amongst care home workers.
Diabetes is a life-changing condition that affects 3.8 million people in the UK, with 630,000 people living with undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes. Despite the prevalence, a recent audit of diabetes care in care homes showed that 36.7 per cent of care homes had no policy of screening for Type 2 diabetes and 17 per cent had no system in place to check whether those who self medicate had taken their medication. As such, it is vital for care workers to have a good working knowledge of this condition, which if not managed properly can result in complications such as blindness, stroke and amputation.
To help with this challenge, ‘Diabetes in Healthcare’ has been created by Diabetes UK in partnership with Bupa, for healthcare professionals who are not diabetes specialists. Written by Diabetes UK’s team of clinicians and diabetes specialists, the course covers both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. It includes expert information on how the condition is diagnosed, treated and monitored, and symptoms to look out for in those who may have diabetes but are yet to be diagnosed.
This Royal College of Nursing accredited course has already been completed by more than 3,850 registered users and a recent focus group found that 93 per cent said the course had increased their knowledge of diabetes and almost 97 per cent said it had increased their interest in the condition.
Simon O’Neill, Director of Health Intelligence and Professional Liaison at Diabetes UK, said: “Diabetes has an impact on so many aspects of a person’s care that it is essential that all healthcare professionals that touch the lives of people with diabetes understand the symptoms, treatment and complications associated with the condition. Failure to treat and care appropriately for patients with diabetes increases the risk of life-changing complications associated with diabetes such as stroke, blindness, kidney failure and amputation.”
Paula Franklin, UK Medical Director, Bupa, said: “We have developed this programme in partnership with Diabetes UK as we recognise the challenge that diabetes presents across the health care community, from retinal screeners to care home assistants. In addition, the number of people with diabetes continues to rise and having access to all the necessary information at the right time can be difficult. The training healthcare workers receive via ‘Diabetes in Healthcare’ can form part of their NHS KSF (knowledge and skills framework) or be a foundation for any healthcare professional who may want to go on to specialise in diabetes later in their career.”
‘Diabetes in Healthcare’ can be accessed for free at www.diabetesinhealthcare.co.uk.
In addition, Diabetes UK and Bupa are encouraging care home workers to recommend ‘Type 2 Diabetes and Me’, another free online e-learning course to their patients. Also developed in partnership between Bupa and Diabetes UK, the programme helps people with Type 2 diabetes learn how best to manage their condition so they can lead healthy, active lives and reduce the risk of complications associated with Type 2 diabetes such as blindness and amputation. The tool can be accessed at www.type2diabetesandme.co.uk.