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THINKGlucose update 2014 

(November 2014)

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Congratulations to our first wards to complete ThinkGlucose training – well done to all staff who completed the training.



The following clinical areas have now completed ThinkGlucose training:

  • LRI wards 17, 37, 38 and discharge lounge
  • GGH CF unit and discharge lounge


The following clinical areas are currently undertaking training:

  • LRI – ED and EDU
  • LGH wards 18, 26, 29 and Renal
  • GGH wards 28 and 25E


What is ThinkGlucose?

A toolkit providing a package of tried and tested resources to improve awareness of patients with diabetes.  Implementation of ThinkGlucose improves patient experience and quality of care. 

ThinkGlucose is delivered predominantly by diabetes specialist nurses in a series of modules which can be taught in 2 one day sessions or negotiated alternatives considered.

Key issues ThinkGlucose addresses


  • Provision of consistent, effective and proactive inpatient care for people with diabetes is often inadequate in the NHS, which leaves patients with a poor experience in terms of their diabetes management. 
  • Local data shows UHL to fall short of national benchmarks in some areas of inpatient diabetes management.
  • Patients with diabetes tend to remain in hospital longer and are less likely to be admitted as a day case than patients with same problem who don’t have diabetes. 
  • People with diabetes occupy up to 24% beds within UHL. Insulin errors have been consistently reported medication errors. 
  • Maladministration of insulin was included in the DoH Never Events list in 2011/12. Trusts need to adopt a zero tolerance policy to errors of this kind.

In addition to educating and training front-line nursing staff ThinkGlucose brings together hospital diabetes teams with colleagues in patient safety, clinical governance, surgical and medical specialities across the hospital to deliver improved effective efficient and patient friendly care.

  • ThinkGlucose also helps hospitals avoid diabetes related “never events” and improves safety of insulin use.


So – why should your nursing teams do ThinkGlucose?


  • Leicester's a 2014/15 CQUIN for inpatient diabetes focusing on implementing ThinkGlucose across the trust.
  • In the next year 80% of nursing staff in clinical areas should have undertaken ThinkGlucose.


The NHS teams who contributed to the development of ThinkGlucose reported:

These went up:

  • Overall quality of care
  • Patient Safety
  • Bed efficiency
  • Diabetes team utilisation
  • Knowledge and awareness among hospital staff
  • Patient satisfaction
  •  Income (due to improved coding)
These went down:
  • Insulin drug errors
  • Other adverse incidents
  • Cancelled operations / procedures
  • Complaints
  • Delays in discharge
  • Inappropriate referrals to the specialist team


How do you sign up?

Its easy – contact the team by
emailing or sign up for training sessions scheduled on eUHL.

It doesn’t end there....

Improving care for patients with diabetes needs a whole team approach. The whole team needs to engage and have a conversation which includes diabetes management when people with diabetes are admitted to UHL.


Nursing staff need to put into practice what they have learnt during ThinkGlucose training. 
You need to ensure that your medical team are reviewing diabetes control, treatment and titrating appropriately.  Medical teams need to be familiar with guidelines and protocols for managing diabetes emergencies, intravenous insulin and peri-operative care. 

Junior doctors need to participate in educational opportunities relating to inpatient diabetes care.  We recognise that in order to make a significant impact on quality of diabetes care for inpatients we need to provide resources for both nursing and medical staff and so we have appointed an OOPE Clinical Fellow to develop an educational toolkit for junior doctors focusing on inpatient diabetes care.  You will hear more about this in coming year.

ThinkGlucose – ThinkPatient – ThinkSafety – ThinkBetterCare

Written by Dr Kath Higgins - Diabetes Consultant UHL