The neglected elderly with diabetes – raising the standards in care homes


  • Charles Fox Northampton General Hospital, Cliftonville, Northampton NN1 5BD, UK
  • Anne Kilvert Northampton General Hospital, Cliftonville, Northampton NN1 5BD, UK



A significant number of elderly care home residents have diabetes and concerns have been raised about the quality of care in this setting. To address this, Diabetes UK produced updated guidelines for good clinical practice in 2010. A recent audit of the standard of diabetes care in residents of care homes in England has been carried out by the Institute of Diabetes for Older People (IDOP) in collaboration with the Association of British Clinical Diabetologists (ABCD). The audit captured data from 2,043 care homes (response rate 23%), with 5,087 residents (10.4%) reported to have diabetes in a total population of 48,978. The main concerns raised were under-reporting of diabetes in this population, lack of policies for diabetes management, poor communication channels with primary care and lack of access to training for care home staff. There were specific clinical concerns about the management of hypoglycaemia and foot care. The audit makes a number of recommendations for raising standards.

The three pillars on which high quality care must be based are mandatory training for all staff, effective communication with primary care and implementation of policies for good clinical care


Sinclair AJ, Gadsby R, Penfold S et al. Prevalence of diabetes in care home residents. Diabetes Care 2001;24:1066-68.

IDOP-ABCD. England-wide Care Home Diabetes Audit. Executive summary, spring 2014. June 2014. and Audit.pdf (accessed July 2014)

Diabetes UK. Good clinical practice guidelines for care home residents with diabetes. Diabetes UK, 2010.

YHPHO. Key findings for England 2010. (accessed July 2014).

Prestt A. Prevalence and diagnosis of diabetes in one PCT care home population. J Diabetes Nursing 2005;9:380.

Fox CJ, Kilvert A, Gillespie CR, Sinclair AJ. Diabetes care for the most vulnerable in society – the views of professionals working in care homes and domiciliary care using focus group methodology. Br J Diabetes Vasc Dis 2013;13:244-8.






Current Topics

Most read articles by the same author(s)