NHS Forth Dietitian Appointed as a Diabetes UK Clinical Champion for Scotland

An NHS Forth Valley Dietitian has been selected as a Diabetes UK Clinical Champions to help transform care for people living with diabetes in Scotland.

Jennifer Hynes, who leads Structured Education for people living with Type 2 Diabetes in NHS Forth Valley and Sandra Wilson, a Senior Diabetes Specialist Nurse with NHS Grampian, were chosen for their passion and commitment to excellence in diabetes care.

Jenny is working to increase uptake of structured education for people newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. She wants to identify the barriers to attendance and develop innovative ways to empower patients with structured education to improve the health outcomes of people living with Type 2 diabetes in NHS Forth Valley.

Sandra plans to establish high quality standards of care for people with diabetes. She wants to improve how education is delivered by working with health and social care staff and also the third sector. As Chair of the Grampian DSN Education Group, she plans to link with the Managed Clinical Networks in Scotland to roll these standards out across the country.

Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. If not managed well, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to serious complications that include blindness, amputation, kidney failure and stroke.

Diabetes care can vary widely in different areas across the UK and many people struggle to access the vital services they need to manage their condition well. As Clinical Champions, Jenny and Sandra will join a two-year leadership development programme, supported by Diabetes UK. Through this training, Clinical Champions will identify areas in need of improvement and drive vital changes to the diabetes services that people receive in Scotland.

Jennifer Hynes said: “I’m looking forward to starting my new role as Diabetes UK Clinical Champion. I am delighted to have the chance to contribute to improving care for people living with Type 2 diabetes.  I plan to ask local people about what will help them to look after their condition better, and to make changes to our service which meets some of those needs.”

Sandra Wilson said: “I am thrilled about my new role as a Diabetes UK Clinical Champion and will be focusing on improving outcomes for people with diabetes. Over the next 2 years I will explore ways to improve the education, coaching and mentoring of nursing staff to achieve the required competencies required to improve patient experience.”

Jenny and Sandra are among twenty UK healthcare professionals, including consultants, nurses, GPs, dietitians, podiatrists, pharmacists and psychologists to be appointed as a Clinical Champion this year.

Angela Mitchell, National Director of Diabetes Scotland said: “Diabetes is the most devastating and fastest-growing health crisis of our time, and now affects 4.6 million people across the UK. That’s more than cancer and dementia combined – and more than any other serious health condition in the UK.

“Investing in diabetes care in this way, will help reduce serious complications, and in turn reduce the devastating personal – and economic – costs that can result from poor management of the condition.

“Clinical Champions play a critical role in improving the services people with diabetes receive, and contribute massively to our vision of creating a world where diabetes can do no harm.”

The award-winning Clinical Champions programme provides leadership development to healthcare professionals, enabling them to improve diabetes care and bring innovative solutions to local problems. There are now 85 champions across the UK who have access to a network of like-minded clinicians with whom they can share expertise, experience and best practice.

If you are interested in becoming a Diabetes UK Clinical Champion for the 2019-2021 intake please contact clinicalchampions@diabetes.org.uk or call 020 7424 1892. This is a Diabetes UK project in collaboration with Novo Nordisk who are providing support and funding.