One in four care home residents lives with diabetes and more could be done to improve the wellbeing of those with the condition, according to the charity Diabetes UK.
Speaking at the second Kent Registered Managers Conference in Maidstone on October 3, Diabetes UK’s regional head for the south east, Jill Steaton, said managing Type One and Type Two diabetes in care homes is not easy and there is often a lack of care planning and staff training.
She pointed out that treating diabetes costs the NHS £1m an hour and accounts for 10% of the total NHS budget as complications associated with the condition, including strokes, heart attacks, blindness, kidney failure and amputations, have to be treated.
“A care home resident with diabetes has an increased likelihood of frailty and needs to be managed well,” said Steaton. “Our advice is that residents should be screened when they arrive and then at two-year intervals. There should also be individual care plans and better staff training.”
Steaton added that getting this right will maintain the quality of care and well-being for those living with diabetes. “This will also help residents to manage their own diabetes where this is feasible.”
Her advice is that care homes should allocate one member of staff to be a Diabetes Champion to identify areas for improvement and to monitor that blood checks and kidney tests are being carried out.
The Diabetes UK website provides free information to help care homes.
More than 250 delegates and suppliers attended the Kent Registered Managers Conference to share ideas and hear how Kent County Council is providing adult social care.
Kent County Council’s corporate director for adult social care, Penny Southern, opened the event by explaining that Kent had a budget of almost £400m to support more than 34,000 people across its adult social care network.
“Our budget is a challenge so we have to make sure every pound spent on adult social care delivers better outcomes,” she said.