P_CS_34 Administration of Insulin to Adults with Stables Type 2 Diabetes by a Senior Healthcare Support Worker

Evidence suggests that the incidence of type 2 diabetes is rising, and the success of implementing evidence based treatment has meant that more people with type 2 diabetes will be treated with insulin (DOH 2002).

In June 2010 the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) issued the rapid response alert "Safer Administration of Insulin" and reported that insulin administration errors occurred due to three mains reasons:

  1. Using the wrong insulin product
  2. Omitted or delayed insulin dose
  3. Wrong insulin dose

Omission or delay of insulin has been identified to be one of the main causes of adverse patient incidents with insulin. The reports highlights that some insulins need to be taken at a mealtime, so the timing of insulin in relation to food can be critical. The risks occur when the patient's insulin is given too early or too late in relation to food.

The development of insulin devices has meant that more people are able to manage their own care and live more independent lives. However, for some adult individuals who require insulin this may mean difficulty in administering the required injection(s) independently.

Historically, individuals who are unable to self-administer insulin are supported to do so either by relatives or a Registered Nurse.

However, in order to enable community nursing teams to manage the care of such people, it has been identified that suitably trained Senior Health Care Support Workers (Senior HCSW) could administer insulin to those individuals whose diabetes is stable and where all other avenues to assist in enabling and supporting independence have been exhausted.

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