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Nurses sought by charity to become local diabetes ‘clinical champions’

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A national diabetes charity is calling on nurses to volunteer to become “clinical champions” for their local area.

Diabetes UK said it was looking for 16 “enthusiastic” clinicians to be local champions and “deliver the leadership required to improve services for people with diabetes”.

“There is clear and growing evidence that it is possible to deliver better diabetes care without spending more money”

Amy Rylance

The charity said the role was open to any clinician experienced in treating diabetes patients and with the “potential to lead real change”.

The voluntary role runs for two years and includes a package of support and training.

The charity recruited its first 10 clinical champions in 2014, including diabetes specialist nurses, consultants and GPs.

The decision to recruit champions resulted from wishing to empower clinicians to improve services and be best practice leaders, it said.

Amy Rylance, head of healthcare professional engagement at Diabetes UK, said clinicians were “uniquely well placed” to identify how diabetes services could improve, but “all too often they are left frustrated and unable to deliver change”.

“There is clear and growing evidence that it is possible to deliver better diabetes care without spending more money, by ensuring effective services are in place to help reduce the expensive and personally devastating complications that can result from poor management of the condition,” she said.

“We are now looking to recruit the 2015 cohort of clinicians to drive change in localities across the four nations,” she added.

Ruth Miller, lead diabetes nurse at the Royal Free NHS Trust, described being a clinical champion as an “incredibly positive experience”, which had added “extra drive and confidence” to her work.

“My current focus is on the development of training intended for non-specialist clinicians. It is divided into three modules, inpatient training, community training and mental health worker training (in diabetes),” she said. 

“It does not aim to create diabetes experts but recognises that all clinicians must possess a set of core competencies in order to keep their patients safe,” she added.

Visit the Diabetes UK website to download an application pack. The final date for entries is 9am on 30 March.

The project is being run in collaboration with the pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, which is providing funding.

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