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Call for nurses to become local diabetes champions

Diabetes UK is calling for nurses with experience treating the complex needs of people with diabetes to sign up as a local volunteer, to scale down the “diabetes crisis”.

These nurses will provide the leadership required to improve services for people with diabetes in their area.

Amy Rylance, head of healthcare professional engagement at the charity, said: “There is a diabetes crisis in the UK; 3.5 million people are diagnosed with the condition and an estimated 549,000 people have the condition but don't yet realise it.

“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,” she added.

The role is open to any healthcare professional experienced in treating the complex needs of people with diabetes and with the potential to lead real change, including diabetes specialist nurses, consultants, GPs, dietitians, podiatrists and senior pharmacists.

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

Debora Brown - a diabetes specialist nurse at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust - became a clinical champion last year and has already introduced change in her local area.

She said: “Being a clinical champion and having the backing of Diabetes UK has helped to raise awareness of diabetes in my local area and put it on my trust's agenda. I have worked with our local CCG to launch elderly care guidelines for primary and secondary care. This intervention has already reduced the number of referrals from the ambulance service for hypoglycemia in the over-75s.”

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