Genetic diabetes nurse initiative: translating genetic knowledge into clinical care

Summary

Monogenic diabetes accounts for around 2% of diabetes (an estimated 40,000 NHS patients) – but 80% of cases are misdiagnosed as having Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. This means they receive the wrong treatment. The team developed the national Genetic Diabetes Nurse (GDN) educational initiative to train healthcare professionals to recognise monogenic diabetes and to support them in managing patients with a confirmed molecular genetic diagnosis. This initiative trains Diabetes Specialist Nurses across the UK to disseminate new genetics knowledge and improve diabetes care within their region, using a model of ‘training the trainers’. Running since 2002, the model was recognised as an exemplar in the DH White Paper ‘Our inheritance, our future’ for building genetics into mainstream services.

Challenge

Monogenic diabetes accounts for around 2% of diabetes, which is an estimated 40,000 NHS patients. About 80% are misdiagnosed as having Type 1 or 2 diabetes and therefore receive the wrong treatment.  A genetic diagnosis is important as it determines optimal treatment – but the majority of health care professionals have little training in genetics or genomic medicine. This means a mechanism for increasing recognition of monogenic diabetes is clearly needed to avoid misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment.

Objectives

To raise awareness of monogenic diabetes across the UK amongst health care professionals involved in diabetes care leading to improved recognition and treatment of these patients.

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QiC Diabetes Winner 2015
Best innovation in integrated commissioning, or integrated care, model
Genetic diabetes nurse initiative: translating genetic knowledge into clinical care
by Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust/ University of Exeter Medical School



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