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On the Level - Evidence for Action on Type 2 Diabetes

On the level: new review for nursing staff on type 2 diabetes

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) have launched a new report to help nursing staff and other health care professionals to act on the latest type 2 diabetes research.

The report, On the Level – Evidence for Action on Type 2 Diabetes, focuses on four areas of support – prevention; better identification; self-management; and reducing complications. Importantly, it also takes the perspective of patients into account. 

This report offers a welcome review of the evidence base on diabetes care. Clearly there are areas where nursing staff will have influence in implementing the evidence from this review, for example, supporting initiatives to help prevent Type 2 diabetes in high risk groups and preventing complications for those patients who have it and in ensuring that people are able to access relevant structured education programs. Staff in primary care and the community are most likely to be meeting these patients on a daily basis – and will be best placed to identify and influence these patients groups. 

We know there are certain population groups that are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes and health care professionals need to be confident in offering support and advice to these groups. For example, many people living with the condition may benefit from structured lifestyle programmes. Alternatively, nursing staff may be in a position to offer healthy eating and exercise advice and support to people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, when they see these patients in their homes or surgeries. 

Nursing staff already have the tools to
make every contact count but in order to help to prevent Type 2 diabetes and the associated health issues it is vital that care and support is tailored to the individual and we need to work in partnership with the person and their families. Nursing staff may feel they would benefit from additional training to develop health coaching skills to do this more effectively. 

By supporting our patients to understand how to manage their diabetes, or to avoid developing it in the first place, we will help more people to live longer and healthier lives with less cardiovascular diseases, reduction in weight related disorders and lessening the risk of some cancers. 

Amanda Cheesley
Professional Lead for Long-Term Conditions and End of Life Care