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Diabetes specialist nurse becomes charity ‘clinical champion’

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Diabetes specialist nurse Debora Brown is among 20 health professionals made “clinical champions” through an initiative by the charity Diabetes UK and pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk.

The champions, who will be in post for two years, will be supported by the scheme to transform care for people living with diabetes.

“I will be focusing on hospital and community diabetes care for the over 75s, and promoting educational programmes for both staff and people with diabetes”

Debora Brown

They will receive the support and personal and professional development they need to become “catalysts for change” in their areas of expertise and to act as advocates for people with diabetes.

The scheme is intended to help them provide leadership at a local level to promote the needs of people with diabetes among commissioners, service managers and healthcare professionals.

The programme was launched last year with the recruitment of the first 10 champions across a mix of specialist consultants, GPs and diabetes specialist nurses.

Examples of their impact so far include the introduction of a simple medication algorithm across four clinical commissioning groups in Birmingham to ensure patients have equal access to treatment regardless of where they live.

Chris Askew, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “Clinicians are uniquely well placed to identify how diabetes services could be improved, but are all too often left frustrated and unable to deliver this change.

“However, as clinical champions, they have the unique opportunity to draw on their expertise and take action to make a real difference to the lives of people living with diabetes,” he said.

Ms Brown has over 20 years’ experience as a diabetes specialist nurse in both primary and secondary care.

She works at Harrogate and District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and also provides support for Harrogate and Rural Clinical Commissioning Group.

She said: “I will be focusing on hospital and community diabetes care for the over 75s, and promoting educational programmes for both staff and people with diabetes.

“Education is an integral part of diabetes management, and I want to engage all providers of diabetes care in my locality to improve the service currently being offered,” she added.

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