The programme

Diabetic hypoglycaemia is wholly preventable. Our hypoglycaemia prevention project will enable patients and clinicians to identify and address avoidable cases and enable enhanced quality of life.

Why?

Hypoglycaemia is a significant barrier and a well-documented complication in the successful management of diabetes (both Type 1 and Type 2). The trade-off between achieving early and sustained glycaemic control is a very real clinical challenge faced daily by patients, carers and their healthcare professional team and can be described as a resource intensive complication of diabetes with direct and indirect associated costs to the NHS.

Avoiding hypoglycaemia has the potential to reduce the NHS deficit by over £4m.

How are we helping?

Building on the development of our Hypoglycemia toolkit, we will support an implementation programme based on Quality Improvement methodologies that will put patients in control of their care, enabling them to work in partnership with their clinicians to avoid the fear and impact of hypoglycaemia.

This project is implementing a locally developed set of tools to support general practice and community pharmacy to foster greater self-care, health literacy and activation of patients with diabetes leading to:

  • The prevention of severe hypoglycaemic episodes in diabetes.
  • An increase in health literacy and/or activation of patients to “do something” about avoiding episodes of hypoglycaemia (of any severity). This will include: recognising hypoglycaemia and its causes; inclusion of the management of hypoglycaemia in personal self-care plan; taking the correct steps to manage hypoglycaemia if it occurs and the importance of maintaining good glycaemic control.

Expected Impact

Managing hypoglycaemia improves the quality of life of patients, encouraging adherence to medication, improving glycaemic control and reducing the health burden of deteriorating diabetes.

  • The hypoglycaemia project will reduce demand on urgent care and hospital diabetes services, shifting capacity to planned care and primary care helping to reduce the NHS deficit
  • The quality improvement and behaviour change methodologies in the project will embed capability and capacity in primary care to ensure the sustainability of general practice

Next Steps

Through this programme we will aim to:

  • Successfully pilot an evidence-based, patient-centred toolkit for hypoglycaemia reduction
  • Develop implementation methodology that can be used at pace and scale
  • Support 500 patient self-assessments resulting in an increase in the number of structured patient consultations to discuss hypoglycaemia risk and support the agreement of patient goals to reduce future risk.