Author: Network Editor

Reviewers sought for the British Journal of Diabetes

Registration has opened for healthcare professionals wanting to become a peer reviewer for a top diabetes journal. The British Journal of Diabetes is inviting healthcare professionals to join its team as peer reviewers. This is a flexible opportunity with no minimum time commitment. Certificates are issued annually to acknowledge the work undertaken with the British Journal of Diabetes as a reviewer. To sign up, register here.

Registration open for Wound Care Conference 2024

Healthcare professionals are invited to register for The Wound Care Conference 2024. The event takes place at the National Conference Centre in Birmingham on April 23 and 24 and features the latest advancements, research, and strategies in this critical area of healthcare. Sessions include: National Wound Care Strategy Programme – NHS England – An overview Wound infection in clinical practice Reducing wound care inequality across different care settings Surgical wound complications Lower limb disease and local community leg ulcer services Case study: Establishing ‘First Assessment Clinics’ to improve lower limb care. Benefits include: 14 CPD points Exclusive access to IPC and wound care plenaries The opportunity to network with industry peers and thought leaders. View the full agenda here. To register, click here.

Thousands of ‘survival’ HypoCards issued to people with diabetes could help to save lives

Almost 3,500 HypoCards have been handed out to people with diabetes providing vital advice on what to do should the card-carrier experience hypoglycaemia – a condition that can be life-threatening. Healthcare business GlucoRx launched its HypoCard campaign in September, with the aim of providing everyone with diabetes with the wallet-sized information card. The HypoCard features potentially life-saving tips on the action that should be taken if someone with diabetes experiences a hypo (hypoglycaemia), which is triggered when blood sugar levels fall under 4mmol/L. Too much insulin or too little food can spark a hypo. Since the launch of the campaign, GlucoRx has sent out a total of 3,485 HypoCards, with just over 2,800 cards sent out in one week alone. Hospitals and GP practices have received 2,772 cards while a further 713 HypoCards have been sent out to individuals with diabetes who contacted the Guildford-based firm directly. As the HypoCard informs, hypoglycaemia can occur quickly, and requires immediate treatment. If the patient becomes ill quickly, or cannot respond to questions, the pocket-sized card features life-saving information, informing someone to call the emergency services to assist them. The card, which has been launched with the tagline ‘one card can save your life’, also details the symptoms of a hypo, so reading the card will inform and prepare people of the signs and symptoms to look out for. Chris Chapman, GlucoRx’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “The ambition is for every person with diabetes to be carrying a HypoCard – it could save their life. “A hypo can happen suddenly, and at any time, and having a HypoCard in your wallet is a non-verbal way of informing those around you, you need help. “The interest in the HypoCards since we launched our campaign demonstrates their value in helping people with diabetes feel safer. Living with diabetes can feel relentless, so if this helps to relieve even a small part of that burden, it is a worthwhile project. “On a wider scale, the HypoCards help to shine the spotlight on a condition that, if left untreated, can be fatal. It could be the case that for someone with diabetes, their life is in your hands.” The card details signs of hypoglycaemia, including sweating, fatigue, dizziness and shakiness. It also offers several recommended methods of treatment, including the correct number of small sweets or fruit juice. Mr Chapman added: “Someone with symptoms of a hypo may appear as if they are intoxicated – this is where the HypoCard is so important because if they can show their card to someone, it means they’ll get the urgent help they need rather than being ignored because people think they are drunk. “We want to spread the HypoCard message far and wide so we’re urging anyone with diabetes, or anyone who is involved in their care, to get their hands on one to make sure they end up in the pockets, wallets and bags of people who may one day rely on them for life-saving help.” The team at GlucoRx behind the card campaign has urged people with diabetes to get in touch to order their card. GP practices and other healthcare settings can order a bulk delivery by getting in touch with the company. How to order a HypoCard: Healthcare professionals/primary and secondary care teams: Contact the GlucoRx customer care team on 0800 007 5892 or email Visit GlucoRx’s website here or visit: GlucoRx Limited is the NHS’ largest supplier of quality diabetic products. Founded in 2010, the company is committed to improving the lives of people with diabetes. In addition, it offers significant savings on blood glucose meters and diabetes management solutions without compromising on quality and patient care. In the past 10 years, GlucoRx has saved the NHS around £350 million by reaching out to Integrated Care Systems across the UK.

‘Alarming’ frequency of hypos in type 1 diabetes revealed in new poll

More than one in four people with type 1 diabetes experience dangerously low blood sugar levels at least once every three days, a survey published to mark World Diabetes Day has found. According to the ‘Living with Diabetes Survey 2023’ report compiled by Afon Technology, 28 per cent of the 305 people with type 1 diabetes surveyed had 10 or more episodes of hypoglycaemia every month. A total of 599 people with both type 1 and 2 diabetes took part in the questionnaire, which highlighted that 61.5% of the participants use a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) or flash technology to monitor their blood glucose levels. The findings have identified that some people do not use a CGM because they are too expensive, painful, not available in their country and can be inaccurate. In addition, some individuals are not using a CGM because they are waiting to access a non-invasive device. Sabih Chaudhry, CEO for Afon Technology, said: “Today we unveil a critical insight from our recent survey, revealing 27.9 per cent of people with type 1 diabetes experience at least one hypoglycaemic episode every week at least once every three days. This is alarming and a clear signal that we need to revolutionise diabetes management.” If left untreated, severe cases of hypoglycaemia – when blood sugar levels fall below 4mmol/L – can be dangerous. Symptoms of a hypo include feeling hungry, dizzy, weak and confused, as well as shaking, sweating, tingling lips and blurred vision. According to Diabetes UK, a mild hypo can be treated through eating or drinking 15 to 20 grams of fast acting carbohydrates such as glucose tablets, sweets, sugary fizzy drinks or fruit juice. Some people with diabetes may also need to take 15 to 20 grams of slower acting carbohydrates if the next meal is not due, the charity has reported. Scientists at the Monmouthshire-based tech firm are creating the world’s first non-invasive wearable blood glucose sensor, which is tipped to completely transform the lives of those with diabetes by completely removing needles from the process of monitoring blood sugar levels. The sensor sits on the inside of your wrist and uses Bluetooth technology to send real-time information to a companion app which will display your blood glucose trends and alert you to high/low glucose levels as well as personal health trends. Sabih added: “At Afon Technology, we believe in the transformative power of continuous glucose monitoring. Our mission is to change the lives of those with diabetes, and we are on the cusp of making needles a relic of the past in blood sugar monitoring. By detecting low sugar levels swiftly and accurately, we hope to turn the tide against hypos and offer a brighter, needle-free future for people managing diabetes.” Non-invasive blood glucose monitoring is the ‘holy grail’ in the world of diabetes and as of yet no one has been able to crack it. Currently, there are 537 million adults globally living with diabetes. Evidence has shown that the NHS spends £10 billion per year on diabetes, with NHS Wales spending £500 million each year on the condition. Unlike the current continuous glucose monitoring devices, Afon Technology’s sensor will measure blood glucose levels in real-time without the need to penetrate the skin at all, making it easier to manage the condition, reducing the risk of diabetes-related complications such as heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and limb amputations. Companies such as Apple, Samsung and Google are rumoured to have been trying to develop non-invasive blood glucose monitoring, but so far none have been successful. Afon Technology hopes to win the race to this important milestone. Preliminary clinical research gives people with diabetes hope that such a device could become a reality in the near future. World Diabetes Day is the primary global awareness campaign focusing on diabetes mellitus and is held on 14 November each year. 

New date unveiled for upcoming masterclass

Healthcare professionals involved in diabetes are invited to attend an online session looking at a web-based solution that allows them to securely connect with their patients’ blood glucose readings. Entitled ‘ Masterclass No.4’, the webinar will now take place on Thursday, November 23, between 12.30pm and 1pm. Hosted by Ascensia Diabetes Care, the virtual workshop aims to support healthcare professionals by providing them with tips on how to use the simple messaging capability within and communicate with their patients and colleagues around their blood glucose readings. Delegates will learn how to capture visit notes and add comments, as well as discover what data and information you can quickly tag and add a comment to. Additionally, attendees will see how easy it is to review past communications with a patient and how to easily to reply to them. This session is part of a series of short virtual masterclasses on the platform. To attend the masterclass, register here.

Latest guidance on ketones now available for healthcare professionals

A newly launched document has been created by a diabetes team to educate healthcare professionals on how to monitor ketones in people with the condition. ‘Monitoring for ketones’ has been created as part of the ‘Start with the D1abasics’ inpatient campaign, which was launched in May earlier this year to provide healthcare professionals with basic inpatient diabetes knowledge. This material, which is now available via the Diabetes Inpatient Specialist Nurse (DISN) UK Group, focusses on how to safely treat people with diabetes in inpatient settings and support the basic diabetes needs of patients. The D1abasics resources are developed by the diabetes team at University Hospital Southampton, including Dr Mayank Patel, Diabetes and Acute Medicine Consultant, and Paula Johnston, Lead Inpatient Diabetes Nurse. Paula Johnston, who is also the Vice Chair of the DISN UK Group, created ‘Monitoring for ketones’. This new document is a valuable resource for healthcare professionals as it simplifies the understanding of ketones, provides clear guidelines on when and how to monitor them and outlines the necessary actions based on the results. Paula explained: “This document is a powerful tool in the hands of healthcare professionals as it distils the essence of ketone monitoring, simplifying complex data into actionable steps. “It enables them to make informed decisions around ketones to pre-emptively address issues before they escalate, potentially saving lives and improving patient outcomes.” She added: “Ketones, often overlooked, are crucial indicators of a lack of insulin and can be an early sign of diabetic ketoacidosis. “Monitoring for ketones is a vital aspect of patient care so simplifying the complex topic of ketones is crucial to assist healthcare professionals to make timely and informed decisions.” People with diabetes account for one in three hospital inpatients and they are often in hospital for reasons other than their diabetes, so it is important that staff across all specialties understand the basics of diabetes care to ensure patient safety. The D1abasics campaign also includes other resources such as posters, lanyards and prompt cards. These resources are available via the DISN network here. ‘Start with the D1abasics’ is developed by the diabetes team at University Hospital Southampton with funding and support from the charity Diabetes UK. Download ‘Monitoring for ketones’ here.

Diabetes specialist nursing at forefront of new in person conference

The Diabetes Specialist Nurse (DSN) Forum welcomed hundreds of healthcare professionals to its inaugural face-to-face event earlier this month. Experts took to the stage on Friday, October 13, at the Mary Ward House Conference Centre in central London to discuss the latest advances and current topics of debate in diabetes care. Members helped shape the agenda for this one-day event, which sought to share best evidence-based practice, discover new research, shine a light on the UK’s diabetes specialist nurse community and enable networking and knowledge sharing. Menarini, Bayer, Dexcom, Abbott, Glooko, Embecta, JDRF, Diabetes UK and Swansea University Medical School sponsored the free-to-attend event. Professor Partha Kar set the tone for the event with an address, saying: “Passion and belief are so important, and nurses are crucial: you help us keep the patient at the centre of our care. If you fight for our patients, you’re always in my good books.” He went on to encourage nurses to seek and apply for senior NHS jobs, emphasising that these roles are not just for doctors: “Nurses do 80 per cent of the work in diabetes care. You need to be at the table.” Professor Gerry Rayman delivered a session on a programme within the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) project to deliver better outcomes for people with diabetes undergoing surgery. Delegates also heard from Professor Helen Murphy, of the University of East Anglia, who shared insights into the optimal management of diabetes and pregnancy, including the rapid growth in youth-onset type 2 diabetes. Dr Helen Partridge, Consultant in Diabetes at University Hospitals Dorset, shared a pilot study for supporting people with type 1 diabetes and eating disorders. Consultant Pharmacist Philip Newland-Jones delivered a session entitled ‘Alpelisib – friend or foe’, where he explored the links between this cancer treatment and hyperglycaemia. The afternoon was led by nursing colleagues, with a sponsored symposium, a panel session exploring the latest diabetes devices shared at EASD 2023, and presentations from the winners of the DSN Forum’s poster competition. The final session of the day was presented by DSN Forum’s Amanda Epps, who talked through the UK’s first qualitative study on how diabetes wearable technology impacts sexual activity and behaviour – a subject often not addressed that deserves to be taken into consideration. Amanda, Diabetes Specialist Nurse and founder of the DSN Forum said: “It’s been amazing to bring together so many attendees today. “The appetite for an event of this kind is inspiring – we sold out all 250 places two weeks after announcing the event.” She added: “It has been a fantastic event and so inspiring to hear our speakers pushing for more involvement of nurses in clinical leadership decisions.” Sponsoring organisations had no editorial input into or control over the agenda, content development or choice of speakers other than the sponsored symposium.

Study highlights link between socioeconomic deprivation and amputation risk

A new study has found the likelihood of amputations relating to diabetic foot disease is “inversely proportional” to the index of multiple deprivation. The research, Socioeconomic Deprivation as a Predictor of Lower Limb Amputation in Diabetic Foot Disease, was carried out by a team from the orthopaedics and traumatology department at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester and the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manchester. They analysed data on patients admitted to the multidisciplinary unit with diabetic foot disease (DFD) over a five-year period, analysing the relationship between deprivation and outcomes in DFD. They classified patients using the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD), which is a measure of relative social deprivation. This index classifies England into small subsets called lower layer super output areas (LSOAs) and then ranks these LSOAs into deciles from the most deprived to the least deprived area. Postal codes were used to classify patients into IMD deciles, with decile 1 representing the 10 per cent of most deprived LSOAs and decile 10 the least deprived areas in the country. The research team said: “We used this classification to analyse the relationship between deprivation and its influence on surgical outcomes and lower limb amputation. We specifically compared those falling in the top five against the bottom five deciles.” The cohort consisted of 70 patients with diabetes who had surgery on their diabetic foot. Of this cohort, 33 (47 per cent) of these underwent amputation. The majority of these procedures were minor amputations conducted on the forefoot (75.6 per cent) and there were no below knee amputations. Of those requiring an amputation, 27 patients (81.8 per cent) had an IMD decile of five or below, and only six (18.2 per cent) patients had above 5. The study authors concluded: “Our study shows that the likelihood of amputations related to diabetic foot disease is inversely proportional to the index of multiple deprivation.” Read the study in full here.

Thank you for your upload