Background: People with severe mental illness are at an increased risk of physical health problems including diabetes.
Aims: To identify the proportion of patients with diabetes in specialist secure psychiatric care, establish current practice in diabetes care and management, and clarify the role of the psychiatric medical team versus the on-site general practitioner.
Method: Hospital-wide data collection from electronic and paper case notes of all identified diabetic patients. Audit standards were based on current National Institute for Clinical Excellence guidelines.
Results: 64 out of 548 patients (11.7%) were identified with a diagnosis of diabetes. 18 (28%) of these patients had an individual care plan to address their diabetic management and risk. The majority of patients had regular blood glucose and HbA1c monitoring.
Clinical implications: Patients should receive regular structured education sessions, regular feedback about their own management, and individual care plans that include the management of common and potentially life threatening complications. These are essential components of providing good quality diabetes care. Clinical audit may provide a means of identifying and rectifying problems in relation to diabetes care in long-stay psychiatric inpatients.