Improving diabetes care in residential care homes

To make sure care home residents with diabetes get the best care at all times, a new partnership has been forged.

It sees diabetes experts from Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT) working closely with staff at two care homes in Thanet, training them, upskilling them and offering round the clock support, as well as KCHFT’s own community nurses providing care to residents, when needed.

The trust has so far trained around 14 of the care home staff in blood glucose monitoring and insulin administration – and hopes to extend this training and support to other care homes in the area, to increase knowledge and confidence when helping residents. The training consists of an initial four-hour group session, followed by individual shadowing and finally, KCHFT specialists signing off competencies.

The work has been led by Lisa Ralf, a KCHFT Specialist Community Nurse in Diabetes.

Lisa said: “This training enables residential care home staff to holistically care for their residents in regards to their diabetes management, by expanding their knowledge and by offering practical training.  This benefits the trust too, as it reduces the demands on our community nurses, although support is still there and residents can still be referred to the community nurses if necessary.

“It’s really positive that the care homes we approached have been keen to work with us.”

At the same time, Lisa has also developed a new training programme for colleagues who join the Thanet community nursing teams at KCFHT and plans to review competencies for KCHFT staff annually, to make sure everyone is proficient and up to date.

Lisa completed this piece of work as a quality improvement (QI) project, after attending the trust’s virtual, two-hour training programme QI Lite.

Find out more on the project on a page below:

The improving diabetes care in residential care homes in Thanet project on a page