Dr Sheila Reith Receives CBE

Congratulations to Dr Sheila Reith, who has been awarded a CBE in recognition of the life-changing impact her work has had for people living with diabetes. Sheila’s incredible legacy includes her idea and research to develop the world’s first insulin pen. It made life with diabetes radically simpler and has been used by millions all over the world.

Sheila was also instrumental in promoting multidisciplinary care for people with diabetes at a time when this was not widespread, developing a diabetes education centre at the former Stirling Royal Infirmary in the 1980s. The centre had a dedicated diabetes nurse specialist alongside dieticians, chiropodists and a clinical psychologist.

Her commitment to supporting people with diabetes continued with work on a structured education programme. It included the first video recording showing how to check blood sugar levels. This was evaluated against a nurse demonstration and information leaflets, showing a combined approach to be superior to any single method.

Dr Sheila Reith, CBE said of her work on the insulin pen: “Thanks to all the wonderful colleagues I worked with over the years and to Diabetes UK who gave us seed funding. It has definitely been a team effort.”

For her patients and colleagues, Dr Reith was most importantly a much-liked, kind and understanding physician. Many of her former patients and colleagues took to social media following the announcement of The King’s Birthday Honours list to add their congratulations and share memories of working with Dr Reith during her career at Stirling Royal Infirmary.

You can read more about Dr Sheila Reith’s achievements on the Diabetes UK website.

Photograph courtesy of Diabetes UK