Diabetes Management and the Role of the Community Nurse: a Holistic Perspective
Nearly 5 million people are now living with diabetes in the UK, with many receiving treatment and management in the community. With their unique and intimate insight into patients’ lives, the community nurse is well-placed to offer support, education and advocacy to those who might be struggling to manage their condition. Francesca Ramadan explores the multiple ways in which a community nurse might facilitate a preventative, holistic and personalised approach to diabetes treatment and management.
It is estimated that 4.9 million people are now living with diabetes in the UK. This is equivalent to one in 14 people, with diabetes registrations almost doubling in the last 15 years and an estimated 850 000 people in England living with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes (Diabetes UK, 2022). Every week, diabetes leads to more than 184 amputations, 1770 strokes, 590 heart attacks and 2300 cases of heart failure (Diabetes UK, 2023). The NHS spends at least £10 billion a year on diabetes, which represents approximately 10% of its entire budget; of this amount, almost 80% of costs are associated with treating complications, with over a quarter of beds being used by people with diabetes in some hospitals (Diabetes UK, 2022). As those with diabetes represent a significant portion of the patients cared for by clinics, hospitals and in the community, it is imperative that any means to attain effective management be explored, to empower patients, prevent diabetes-associated complications and lighten the burden on an already stretched healthcare system.
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