Patients living within the service area of the Trust are benefiting from a new diabetes treatment pilot for injectable insulin. The delivery programme has been so successful, the Trust has been chosen as an exemplar for health care providers up and down the country.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Hospital Foundation Trust is one of just seven Trusts taking part in a national project. This involces training health care assistants to administer insulin to ‘non-complex’ diabetes patients in their own homes.
District Nurse, Moraig Orpen explained: “Our Health Care Assistants are fantastic, dedicated workers.
“We knew they were capable of so much more. So we began a very thorough training programme to equip them with the skills to safely administer insulin.
“Some patients with diabetes struggle to inject their own medication. This daily task traditionally falls to district nurses, which is very time consuming.
“By training our health care assistants to follow prescriptions, measure out the correct dose and administer it safely, we have freed up our district nurses to spend more time with patients who need that more complex support.”
An average of six patients receive daily visits from healthcare assistants to administer their vital insulin.
Health care assistant, Lynda Bell said: “Learning a new skill is always great. Who doesn’t want to be better at their job?
“Being a health care assistant is really rewarding. Being able to help by administering certain drugs makes it even better.
“I feel really confident in the training. As a result we’re building up really good relationships with our patients who really trust in our care.
“Some patients have very complex conditions that need a nurse. So they will still receive their medication from the District Nurses.”
The Trust has trained 24 full time equivalent health care assistants (32 in total) to deliver intravenous drugs in the community. As well as insulin, they are able to administer a limited number of other injectable medication. Including B12, to tackle vitamin deficiency and Tinzaparin which prevents blood clots
The scheme has proven so successful that North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has been appointed an exemplar site by NHS England and NHS Improvement. The Trust will act as a ‘critical friend’ to other Trusts and advise on training and implementation policy.
One of only seven trusts in the UK, and the only one in the North East and North Yorkshire area, the Trust will be supporting three Trusts as they begin their process of training health care assistants to the highest possible level to safely administer injectable medication.