My experience of leading the inpatient service at The Royal Free for these years, enabled my understanding that errors occur when busy front-line staff do not possess a basic knowledge of diabetes.  Front line hospital staff will inevitably be treating patients with complex diabetes but they may not have access to specialist training.  This was the catalyst that led me to develop The Diabetes 10 Point Training.

The original Diabetes 10 Point Training Programme was developed to improve inpatient safety. The programme was developed with the understanding that ward staff often experience difficulties attending training away from the workplace. Training is therefore taken to the workforce to increase learning opportunities and uptake.  Training is concise, fast and relevant to the clinical area and is supported by bespoke small aide-memoire cards which contain the main learning points, contacts and information.

The training content is developed around the most commonly seen inpatient errors and challenges and front-line staff are empowered with new knowledge of when and how to escalate concerns about their patients.

The training objective is to simply deliver the main safety messages to staff while guarding against diluting information with overly complex and non-relevant detail.  This increases the likelihood  that attendees will retain the key safety messages. 

Flexible training approach

Flexibility is key to the success of the training which is adapted to the needs of the department.  Some settings may favour an opportunistic ‘drop in’ approach to training while other departments will opt for pre-arranged scheduled training sessions larger groups which may include a more formal presentation.  

Opportunistic training can take as little time as 10 minutes  while more formal training may take up to 40 minutes.

Adapting training content

A main strength of the training is the ability to adapt and customise  content so training remains highly relevant to the audience.  For example oncology departments commonly focus on how to best manage high blood glucose caused by steroid treatment.  On surgical wards questions are raised about the use of intravenous insulin and glycaemic control during nasogastric feeding.

Our world diabetes day training recipients at Charing Cross Hospital

On elderly care; ear, nose and throat; and stroke wards, the conversations and questions are often around hyperglycaemia due to enteral feeding.

The Diabetes 10 Point Training Programme has gained national recognition.  It has been presented in Parliament at an All Party Parliamentary Group in 2016 and 2017 with Rt Hon. MP Keith Vas and Rt Hon. MP Jeremy Hunt. 

The Diabetes 10 Point Training is also featured on The Diabetes UK website as an example of good practice:

And in 2018 Diabetes UK publication “Making Hospitals Safe for People with Diabetes”.

The vision and plan is improve the care quality and safety for all people living with diabetes  by extending “at-scale training” across the patient pathway in all settings in the health and social care economy where there is a high prevalence of diabetes. 

The training is adaptable to all settings and we are ambitious to reach all staff to ensure that basic diabetes knowledge and skills are embedded in all teams.

Some of our trainees receiving their certificate at the end of their training.

Digital Diabetes 10 Point Training in 10 Minutes

We are excited to announce that the development of an online “Diabetes 10 Point Training in 10 Minutes” is underway, with potential to spread knowledge rapidly to thousands.

To date we have trained more than 2000 patient facing staff on a Diabetes 10 Point Training programme.

Train the Trainer and workforce resilience

Using a “Train the Trainer” education model magnifies the spread of  knowledge and increases resilience in the workforce.  Investment in staff through training is always worthwhile because it leads to improved staff confidence in managing diabetes.  Staff who have access to training feel valued and this leads to improved staff recruitment and retention.

Use of Train the Trainer allows other service leaders to develop and deliver a bespoke version of the training in their own setting with the process supported and overseen to ensure quality and fidelity to the education model.