The diabetes team at Dudley Group of Hospitals Foundation Trust (DGH) have used the findings from the 2009 National Diabetes Inpatient Audit to make a business case for expanding their team and services. The result of this has been a real improvements in patient outcomes and half a million pound savings over seven months. Inpatients with diabetes at DGH are now seen more regularly by the specialist diabetes team, have shorter inpatient stays and better control of their diabetes following discharge.
Established in 2009, the annual National Diabetes Inpatient Audit (NaDIA) highlights important areas for improvements in the care of inpatients with diabetes. The 2009 audit findings showed that across England people with diabetes were likely to stay in hospital for longer and take longer to get better than those without the condition. The audit also showed worrying rates of medication errors, particularly around insulin prescriptions.
Although the audit findings showed DGH were performing slightly better than the national average, the diabetes team was clear there was still room for improvement. Using the findings of the audit the diabetes team approached the DGH Board with a business case for employing more staff and expanding services. The team was able to secure funding for an additional consultant diabetologist, an extra diabetes specialist nurse and podiatry time. Anna Morton, Director of NHS Diabetes said: “The work at Dudley shows how trusts can use the findings of the Diabetes Inpatient Audit as a catalyst for improvements. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by some challenging findings, they were proactive. The diabetes team made a plan and clearly demonstrated to their board how it would not only make things better for patients but also save money. What’s more they’ve measured the improvements in outcomes and can show the changes have worked. It’s a great example for other organisations wanting to change the way they work too.”