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Leicester promotes hypo awareness week

(18th September 2013)

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust was one of more than 60 hospitals from across the country to take part in a national diabetes awareness campaign organised by Oadby-based Spirit Healthcare, last week.

Spirit Healthcare led on the second national Hypo Awareness Week campaign from Monday 9 to Friday 13 September to try to raise awareness and reduce incidents of hypoglycaemia – a complication of diabetes.

Hypos also known as hypoglycaemia or low blood glucose, occurs when the blood glucose level of someone with diabetes drops too low and they can feel shaky and unwell.

Helen Atkins, senior diabetes nurse specialist at Leicester’s hospitals, said: “Hypos are one of the main issues for people with diabetes in hospitals.

“The findings of the latest National Diabetes Inpatient Audit showed one in ten patients experienced a severe hypo which required help from another person to treat, while one in five had mild hypos they could treat themselves.

“Figures like these demonstrate the need to raise the importance of recognising and treating hypos in hospital – and that’s exactly why we took part in Hypo Awareness Week 2013.”

Hypo Awareness Week was first launched in August 2012 by NHS Diabetes. However, as the organisation closed in April, Spirit Healthcare took on the running of this year’s Hypo Awareness Week.

Chris Barker, chief executive of Spirit Healthcare, which is based in Selbury Drive, said: “We’re passionate about improving diabetes care, that’s why we resurrected Hypo Awareness Week for 2013.

“We’ve been encouraging hospitals across the UK to hold activities and training to ensure they have fully-stocked hypo kits on their wards and that all staff, including receptionists, are aware of the symptoms of a hypo and what to do in the event of one.”

As well as providing resources for the Leicester trust’s computer system, an induction session was held during the week for nine hospital and community diabetes specialist nurses.

Mrs Atkins led the session which took place at Leicester General Hospital on Friday 13 September, and involved an introduction to a range of diabetes guidelines and covered two case studies, one about a patient who had suffered a hypo.

This year’s campaign acted as a preparation for the latest National Diabetes Inpatient Audit, running from Monday 16 to Friday 20 September, which the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust will also be taking part in.

UHL Press Release:

Contact information:

For more details or to arrange further interviews with Chris Barker, from Spirit Healthcare, please contact Oliver Jelley of Orange Juice Communications on 07803 003811 or email

For more information about Spirit Healthcare visit or tweet @SpiritHealthUK

For media enquiries relating to Leicester’s Hospitals, please contact communications officer, Robert Knight on 0116 258 8715 or email