Improving diabetes care at the end of life
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Improving diabetes care at the end of life

Anne Claydon Diabetes nurse consultant, Barts Health NHS Trust, London, City University, London, England
Katie Spencer Ward sister, Royal Trinity Hospice, London, England

The number of people with diabetes in the UK is increasing. Many are aged over 75 years, and this has resulted in rising numbers of patients for whom diabetes exists comorbidly with other disease processes. Those with life-limiting illness require palliative care services. However, end of life care for patients with diabetes is generally poor. The aim of end of life care for these individuals is to maintain comfort, while minimising the risks of osmotic symptoms. The wishes of patients, carers and families should be taken into consideration when agreeing new glucose control targets, adjusting treatment or changing focus on diet. Patients and carers should feel that the condition is being managed with the support of healthcare professionals. These professionals need the knowledge, skills and confidence to recognise the end of life to tailor diabetes care appropriately.

Nursing Standard. 30, 6,37-42. doi: 10.7748/ns.30.6.37.s45


Peer review

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Received: 11 December 2014

Accepted: 16 March 2015