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Charity calls for diabetes nurses to ‘champion change’

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Diabetes UK is looking for specialist nurses from across the UK to become “clinical champions” and lead improvements to services for diabetes patients in their local area.

The voluntary role runs for two years and includes a package of support and training, said the charity.

“Clinicians are uniquely well placed to be able to identify how diabetes services can improve”

Amy Rylance

It said the role was open to any healthcare professional “experienced in treating the complex needs of people with diabetes”, including diabetes specialist nurses, consultants, GPs, dietitians, podiatrists and senior pharmacists.

Diabetes UK said it wanted to “empower clinicians to improve services and be best practice leaders”.

Amy Rylance, the charity’s head of healthcare professional engagement, said: “Clinicians are uniquely well placed to be able to identify how diabetes services can 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.

The programme was first launched in 2014 and has so far recruited 29 clinical champions.

Ms Rylance said: “We are now looking to recruit the 2016 cohort of clinicians to drive change in localities across the four nations.”

Diabetes UK

Diabetes specialist nurse becomes charity ‘clinical champion’

Debora Brown

Debora Brown, a diabetes specialist nurse at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, became a clinical champion last year.

She said joining the initiative had helped her to raise awareness of diabetes locally and “put it on my trust’s agenda”.

“I have worked with our local clinical commissioning group to launch elderly care guidelines for primary and secondary care. This intervention has already reduced the number of referrals from the ambulance service for hypoglycaemia in the over 75s,” she said.

The Diabetes UK project is being run in collaboration with pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, which is providing support and funding.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on 29 March, with more information available from the Diabetes UK website

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