Specialist diabetes nurses could save £100 million

The NHS could save up to £100 million a year by employing specialist nurses to cut the time diabetic patients spend in hospitals, research shows.

Researchers at the University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust carried out a 12-month study of the impact of employing a diabetes specialist nurse in an emergency medical unit.

One nurse was employed from Monday to Friday, proactively identifying patients with diabetes. The nurse found and reviewed 111 diabetics, of which 42 per cent were discharged within 24 hours. 

The average hospital stay for a diabetic patient is 11 days, and costs £215 a day. Cutting 42 per cent of these stays equates to a saving of £111,155 a year.

Diabetes UK chief executive Douglas Smallwood said: ‘People with diabetes spend 1.1 million days in hospital each year. Almost £100 million could be saved if these were cut by 42 per cent. This research is further proof of the vital role diabetes specialist nurses play in improving the health of people with diabetes and the financial woes of the NHS.'

nick.bostock@haymarket.com

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