Valerie raises specialist nurses

The Health Select Committee heard evidence on the management of long term conditions. Valerie Vaz MP asked Baroness Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, about diabetic specialist nurses.

Valerie said:

“Diabetic specialist nurses play an essential role in supporting patients with diabetes, who need that specialist treatment to address their complex health needs. I was deeply concerned by reports that these positions are being reduced or downgraded, so I asked Baroness Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, whether the number of diabetic specialist nurses is dwindling or going up.”

“She said that they are worried about diabetic specialist nurses – and this is in common with many long term conditions – because the current squeeze is having several effects. Firstly, a number of them have been downgraded – they are deskilling the role – secondly there are places where posts are being held vacant because of the financial squeeze.”

“I asked Baroness Young to clarify whether diabetic specialist nurses definitely help to reduce hospital admissions. She said that the combination of good general practice and practice nurses, help from specialist doctors and specialist nurses on the phone or in person from the primary care-in-the-community staff, and the availability of those skills to help with training patients so that they have some structured education, are the three things that help reduce hospital admissions.”.”

The Health Select Committee are continuing their inquiry ionto Long term conditions.