Rowan Hillson winner pledges to continue insulin error reduction

By Editor
6th June 2019

The winner of the Rowan Hillson Insulin Safety Award 2018 has pledged to ensure her insulin error-reducing strategy which saw her pick up the accolade becomes “sustainable”. 

Dr Kath Higgins, Consultant in Diabetes Care and Clinical Lead for Inpatient Diabetes Care at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, was announced as the winner in April for a project which saw insulin medication errors fall by almost 50%.

Speaking to the DT, Dr Higgins said: “I was absolutely delighted to be presented with the award. Our aim when we set about implementing our insulin safety education strategy was to teach the basics to keep patients safe, to ensure there was cohesive messaging across all elements of the teaching toolkit, to encourage senior clinicians and nursing staff to lead by example, to implement an ethos of open communication between staff and a culture where staff feel comfortable championing their great work and raising concerns if necessary. We wanted staff to know that we would support them by providing education in differing formats (face to face, e-learning and top tips via social media @ITS_diabetes_) and with resources for use by frontline staff.

“Feedback from staff has been overwhelmingly positive and we have seen insulin medication errors fall by almost 50%. Our success has been based on determination, team work and buy-in from our senior executive team which has ensured our messages have been heard at all levels across the trust. I am aware however that we cannot rest on our laurels as staff are continually rotating or leaving, joining, the trust and so we need to ensure our strategy is sustainable in order to maintain the positive outcomes seen in the first year.”

The Joint British Diabetes Societies for Inpatient Care initiative aims to promote excellent practice in the safety of inpatients with diabetes. The submissions were judged by an independent panel chaired by former National Diabetes Clinical for Director Dr Rowan Hillson MBE against predefined criteria. The winning submissions will be available to download from Association of British Clinical Diabetologists (ABCD), Diabetes UK and DISN UK Group websites.

Dr Umesh Dashora, Erwin Castro and Debbie Stanisstreet led this project. The judges included Dr Anne Kilvert, Dr Clare Crowley, Sarah Gregory and Emma Green.

The DT was the first to report on the 2018 winners, to read our story, click here.

The winner of the Rowan Hillson Insulin Safety Award 2017 was Dr Stuart Ritchie, Consultant Physician at the Western General Hospital, NHS Lothian, with the judges highly impressed by his entry, ‘Development of an inpatient diabetes dashboard to drive quality improvement’.

The latest theme for the national competition was ‘The best inpatient educational programme for healthcare professionals’. There were seven entries and the overall standard was described as “high”.

To access the winning submissions, including entries and supporting evidence, click here.

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