The side effects of the newer antipsychotics include weight gain, raised blood pressure, high blood sugar and increased cholesterol levels. The team on Joshua Ward wanted to involve service users and increase their understanding of diabetes and its management.
The team improved screening and training of patients and staff in interpreting results, and in seeking expert help for patients in the high risk category. New more reliable and standardised screening methods to investigate patients on admission to the acute ward were introduced. Patients were encouraged to lead some of the educational sessions adopting a “user as experts” model in diabetic screening and management.
A target was set to screen 95% of people at admission. Screening also became more reliable and standardised. The team involved professionals and service users and developed a logical flow of ideas, in the form of a driver diagram. From this they tried out small scale tests of change. These included tests for change in screening on admission, managing abnormal results, history gathering and risk factor screening. The team also identified the best way to measure change and show whether the tests for change had made a real difference.
The target of screening 95% of service users at admission was achieved. People were diagnosed earlier, potentially saving lives and promoting longer and healthier living.
Service users became more involved and led education sessions.
The team developed quality improvement training for colleagues to deliver further projects.
Learning and understanding more about diabetes has been positive for staff, helping them recognise when and how to intervene. Communication between mental and physical health teams improved.