Nurse appointed for diabetes sufferers

18:36, Dec 13 2012

Central Otago people with diabetes will be able to get the medication they need easier with the appointment of a specialist diabetes nurse.

Health Minister Tony Ryall, who visited the Southern District Heath Board yesterday, said a Central Otago diabetes nurse specialist would be able to write prescriptions for patients, instead of them being written by a doctor.

"This nurse joins the 15 additional nurses across six DHBs who are being authorised to write prescriptions for their patients - bringing the total of specialist nurses able to prescribe to 27," Mr Ryall said.

More specialist nurses were likely to start training next year.

A trial by 12 registered nurse specialists practising in diabetes health in 2011-12 found nurses could manage their patients safely and effectively, and that patients and nurses were positive about the change.

"This has been so successful, we've decided to roll out diabetes nurse specialists prescribing across the whole country so that more New Zealanders with diabetes can benefit."

"These nurse specialists already independently manage the care of many diabetes patients.

"Taking on responsibility for prescribing common diabetes medications [under the guidance of a medical practitioner] is a natural extension of that role," Mr Ryall said.

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The Southland Times