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News & Media

Media Release

Date: 12 June 2015

Diabetes in focus at RUH

This Diabetes Week (14-20 June) the RUH is highlighting the excellent work staff are doing to raise awareness of diabetes across the Trust and improve outcomes for patients living with the condition.

More than 3.2 million people are diagnosed as diabetic in the UK and twenty per cent of all patients admitted to the RUH have diabetes. Making sure patients are identified as diabetic as close to admission as possible, and ensuring diabetic patients get the support required to manage their diabetes during their stay at the hospital, is paramount.

The innovative Acute Diabetes Service works to do just that, and has already made great strides in improving inpatient care of diabetic patients at the Trust. Dr Marc Atkin the Consultant Diabetologist who leads the service said: "The Acute Diabetes Service, which began by providing support in the Medical Assessment Unit, has now been rolled out to a further five wards at the hospital. The service is going from strength to strength and has had a really positive impact on care of inpatients with the condition.

"The RUH is also supporting a project to improve diabetes care in GP practices in BaNES. This will involve consultants and specialist nurses from the RUH supporting staff in GP practices so that patients can receive treatment closer to home. Our goal is to invest in working together with our patients and our partners to ensure diabetes is not a barrier to living a long, healthy, and successful life."

Diabetes can have a devastating impact on people's lives. If not successfully managed, it can lead to cardiovascular disease, limb loss, and blindness. On Wednesday 10 June, patients whose lives are affected by the condition shared their own personal stories with staff at the RUH in a special 'See it My Way' listening event. Listening to the experiences of people living with a condition is a key tool in helping to raising staff awareness of the condition and encouraging best practice.

In addition to supporting patients to manage the condition, we also recognise the importance of celebrating the achievements of those who have successfully managed their diabetes over the years. We are proud to present a number of Diabetes UK Medals to our patients each year. The Nabarro Medal is awarded by the charity to people who have successfully managed their diabetes for 50 years. This August, a patient at the Trust will receive the prestigious Robert Lawrence Medal, awarded to those who have lived with diabetes for 60 years.

Notes to the editor:
  • Treating diabetes and its associated complications takes up over 10% of the overall annual NHS budget for England and Wales. In total, an estimated £14 billion pounds is spent each year on treating diabetes and its complications, with the cost of treating complications representing the largest share. Diabetic patients stay, on average, two to three days longer in hospital.
  • Common symptoms of diabetes:
    • Passing urine more often than usual, especially at night
    • Increased thirst
    • Extreme tiredness
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Genital itching or regular episodes of thrush
    • Slow healing of cuts and wounds
    • Blurred vision
    If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see your GP. Information and support on diabetes can be found on the NHS Choices website ( and from national charity, Diabetes UK ( / 0345 123 2399).
  • Diabetes UK
    Diabetes UK is the leading charity that cares for, connects with and campaigns on behalf of every person who is affected by or who is at risk of diabetes. Diabetes UK provides information, help and peer support, so people with diabetes can manage their condition effectively. They are also one of the largest funders of diabetes research in the UK.
  • Diabetes Week (14-20 June)
    Diabetes Week, led by Diabetes UK, is an opportunity to raise awareness of the condition and vital funds towards research and providing vital support services. Diabetes Week 2015 takes place from Sunday 14 to Saturday 20 June.

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