25/09/2020 | Press releases

Pilot project to improve perioperative diabetes care

An innovative project designed to enhance the care which people with diabetes receive when they have surgery is being trialled across the country after significantly improving outcomes for patients at Ipswich Hospital.

IP3D, which stands for Improving the Perioperative Pathway of Patients with Diabetes, was launched in Ipswich around two years ago.

It sees people with diabetes who are coming to hospital for surgery given a special perioperative passport, which is packed with information about the care they will receive during their inpatient stay and potential complications they should be aware of and how they can be prevented.

They also receive support during their admission from a diabetes specialist nurse with a surgical background, who works across pre-admission, theatres, recovery and the wards to make sure patients with diabetes are given the highest quality care.

The pathway has had a significant impact since its introduction in Ipswich, reducing length of stay as well as post-operative and diabetes complications. As a result, it is now being trialled at Colchester and 10 other hospitals across the country as part of the national Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) initiative.

Prof Gerry Rayman, diabetes consultant with East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) and GIRFT joint clinical lead for diabetes, said: “The IP3D pathway has been hugely successful since it was introduced in Ipswich, and has made a real difference to the care which patients with diabetes receive.

“The passport empowers the patients so that they understand what good care looks like and are aware of any issues which may arise so that they are able to ask informed questions. This also has a really positive knock on effect of helping to educate staff working on our surgical wards about the potential complications linked to diabetes.

“This is especially important as patients whose diabetes is poorly controlled before their procedure are more likely to face complications after surgery, such as infections, slow-healing wounds and cardiovascular issues such as heart attacks. It is also vital that any medication they are prescribed is carefully monitored so that it doesn’t interact with the drugs they are already taking to manage their diabetes, and that some specific diabetes drugs are stopped before surgery.

“We are really pleased that the pathway is now being trialled more widely. A robust evaluation will be carried out afterwards and if it is proved to be effective, it will be rolled out across the whole country which has the potential to bring enormous benefits to patients.”

The trial will span the next 12 months.

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