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Care home diabetes overlooked

One in five care home residents with diabetes self-medicates without any checks, new research has found. 

Although self-management is usually encouraged, vulnerable people with diabetes should be checked to ensure their medicine has been taken to avoid complication. 

However, the first National Care Home Diabetes Audit found that more than 60% of the 2,043 premises surveyed did not have a designated member of staff responsible for diabetes management. 

And one in ten care home residents were reported as having diabetes, despite previous research pointing to more than  a quarter of all care home residents having the illness. 

The Institute of Diabetes for Older People (IDOP) and the Association of British Clinical Diabetologists (ABCD) carried out the research. 

Professor Alan Sinclair, audit lead and institute director said: this audit has the potential to improve care for older people with diabetes living in care homes in England, and give insight on how to provide staff with the training and support that they need, as well as assisting managers and policymakers to allocate resources.

“We know care home staff are working hard to care for their residents but it was sad and concerning to discover some of the results. Especially, the fact 17.3% of homes had no system in place to examine whether those who self-medicate for diabetes have taken their medication. We encourage self-medication but it needs to be checked in a care setting, especially.”