Insulin Safety

Insulin Safety

Improving insulin safety on discharge from hospital for older adults with diabetes

Insulin is recorded as a high risk medication with over 5,000 patient safety incidents reported between 2003 and 2009 in England and Wales alone.  If insulin is not prescribed and administered in a safe and effective manner it can lead to significant patient harm, or even death. National data indicates that drug errors remain a significant risk area within the NHS.

During hospital discharge errors can occur if the process is not well planned and patients who are elderly or vulnerable may be especially at risk of harm, particularly if they are reliant on care staff and nursing staff to administer their medication.

During 2015/16 the HIN worked in partnership with four South London NHS trusts spanning 7 CCGs to improve Insulin safety on discharge, the report on this work can be downloaded here.


The ‘Improving insulin safety on discharge from hospital for older adults with diabetes’ guide was developed by the Health Innovation Network (HIN) based on the report sets out recommendations using validated tools to help improve insulin safety on discharge from hospital. Although this guide is aimed at improving discharge for elderly and vulnerable patients, many of the key aspects and tools can be used in the discharge of all patients who use insulin to manage their diabetes.

This guide is in the process of being updated. Please email to receive notification of the updated guide being published.

For more information please contact