*The British Journal of Primary Care Nursing approached Abbott Healthcare Products Limited to fund the production of this supplement. The company was not involved in its development, although it was asked to review it for technical accuracy just prior to printing. Editorial control has remained with the British Journal of Primary Care Nursing at all times.
Volume 6, Special Issue 1, Jan-Feb-Mar 2009
Primary care nurses play a central role in the management of type 2 diabetes in the community. This includes helping patients to use their drug treatment correctly. Although many patients with type 2 diabetes initially respond well to weight loss and exercise, most require oral hypoglycaemics and half of all patients eventually require insulin to control their glucose levels in order to prevent the devastating long-term complications of inadequately controlled diabetes. Linda Goldie gives an up-to-date review of the newer insulins – including the insulin analogues, insulin lispro, insulin aspart and insulin glargine – that have been introduced.
There is good evidence that tight glycaemic control significantly improves outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes. All practice nurses will be looking to achieve the new General Medical Services contract (GMS2) targets for HbA1c reduction in diabetes (see box). Practices will be developing prescribing strategies to achieve this reduction, in accordance with good clinical practice. Metformin offers an important first-line therapy for type 2 diabetes. The introduction of a new, sustained-release formulation – Glucophage SR – should improve patient compliance with metformin and so improve glycaemic control.
The focus of diabetes care is well established in general practice, with practice nurses taking on much of the responsibility for diabetes management. The white paper Our Health, Our Care, Our Say talks about high quality care being delivered to patients close to where they live. So, in the future, general practice can expect to take on more responsibility for conditions such as diabetes. This article discusses the priorities for the newly diagnosed patient, and the importance of sound advice and guidance in the early stages.
People at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes can reduce their chances of getting the condition by more than 80% by completing a new education programme, according to a new study from the Leicester Diabetes Centre.
A new European position paper recommends that patients with type 2 diabetes should be prescribed physical activity to control blood sugar and improve heart health. The position paper from the European Association of Preventive Cardiology provides practical recommendations on how to motivate patients to incorporate physical activity into their daily routine, set achievable and measurable goals, and design individualised exercise training programmes.