Enhancing Specialist Knowledge for Pharmacists to Optimise Diabetes Medication Management


The complexity of diabetes management, with advances in therapies and best practice, can be difficult for general ward staff to manage, leading to clinical risks, such as maladministration of insulin, clinical inertia and episodes of hypoglycaemia, often resulting in suboptimal care. With limited time and resources, inpatient diabetes specialist nurses (DSNs) are often unable to address all the issues. Locally a large number of medication errors and ‘near misses’ were identified on the wards. The diabetes inpatient team discussed ideas and looked for inspiration nationally but felt that a new approach was required. The project focused on upskilling inpatient clinical pharmacists through completing the advanced diabetes management course, followed by a new, collaborative-working initiative involving regular clinical supervision and support from the North East Essex Diabetes Service (NEEDS) inpatient DSNs. Previously, pharmacists had just performed medicine reconciliation advice on medication interactions and side effects while assisting with discharge planning. The project demonstrated that clinical pharmacists were expertly placed to improve medication safety through performing a medication review, highlighting and identifying any clinical risks, and optimising patient therapy. They gained the skills and confidence to support diabetes management at ward level, leading to improved patient safety, reduced DSN workload, plus greater diabetes awareness and knowledge within the hospital.

Back to the top

QiC Diabetes Winner 2018
Diabetes Education Programmes - Adults
Enhancing Specialist Knowledge for Pharmacists to Optimise Diabetes Medication Management
by NEEDS (North East Essex Diabetes Service)


Emma Birbeck

Job title:
Lead Inpatient DSN
Place of work:
NEEDS (North East Essex Diabetes Service)


Quality In Care Diabetes

  • 2020 KEY DATES
  • Open for entry: Wednesday 18 March 2020
  • Entry deadline: Monday 20 July 2020
  • Judging day: Thursday 10 September 2020
  • Awards ceremony: Thursday 15 October 2020
QiC Diabetes is partnered by:
Supported by: