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Specialist nurse scripts short film to improve insulin safety

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A Swansea Bay UHB diabetes specialist nurse has shared in an award following her role in improving the insulin safety knowledge and skills of health care providers across the country.

Chris Cottrell, ThinkGlucose Lead based in Neath Port Talbot Hospital, collaborated with eHealth Digital Media, a production company based in Swansea, to create short healthcare professional training films in partnership with the Cambridge Diabetes Education Programme (CDEP). 

They were jointly presented with the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Patient Safety Award recently.

Chis Cottrell Ms Cottrell helped script short training films designed to increase self-assessed insulin safety knowledge, improve confidence and guideline familiarity among hospital staff.  They have been evaluated and shown to drive positive changes on the ward.

Insulin errors remain a significant patient safety issue across the UK, and delivering standardised, easily accessible insulin safety training at scale to large numbers of staff working shifts on wards is challenging but the CDEP team collaboration appears to have come up with the answer.

The films are produced by former BBC producer Kimberley Littlemore, who is based in Swansea, and overseen by Diabetes Consultant Dr Sam Rice who works in Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli. 

Ms Cottrell said: “People with diabetes particularly those on insulin genuinely worry when they come into hospital because they are used to managing their own diabetes and they are concerned that staff may not have the same expertise as they do. 

“Upskilling the workforce and making them more aware of how to use insulin safely is going to help increase the knowledge of staff increasing both staff and patient confidence.

“We have made a series of films for staff to help improve their knowledge in managing diabetes.”

The training has been tested by experts in the field and has proved to be extremely effective.

She said: “You can arrange face to face training but not everyone will be able to make it and then we had the Covid-19 pandemic making it even harder to get people together – these short films mean they can watch and learn at their convenience and we can reach more people. They have been proven to be very effective.”

Of the award Ms Cottrell said: “It is lovely that the work that we have been doing has been recognised. Our aim is to try to make improvements in diabetes care and treatment of our patients, and to help others in providing that care. So to get a patient safety award for something we have done to improve the safety of patients is something special and shows that what we are doing is making a difference.

“There’s a real feel good factor involved in helping others, whether they are patients or staff.”

A spokesman for the judges said: “The judges felt that this winning project had potential for large-scale roll out. The bite-sized training offered within this project reduced errors for those being cared for with diabetes. There was strong evidence of collaboration and the cost savings were impressive.”

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