Dr Chris Smith, a Consultant Diabetologist at Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital has been appointed as Clinical Champion for Diabetes UK.
Through its Clinical Champions programme, Diabetes UK, in collaboration with Novo Nordisk, is working to address the huge variation in patient care, treatment and outcomes for people with diabetes in the UK.
A total of 18 Clinical Champions have been selected by the charity this year based on their skills, clinical expertise, passion and integrity, and potential to make a real difference in delivering tangible improvements in care for people with diabetes.
Chris and the other 17 Clinical Champions will be supported in their workplace by the charity, through a two year leadership programme, to transform care for people living with diabetes.
All Clinical Champions, will be in post for two years and will receive the support and personal and professional development they need from the charity to become catalysts for change in their areas of expertise and to act as advocates for people with diabetes.
Ultimately the scheme will help them develop knowledge and skills to deliver the leadership needed at a local level to promote the needs of people with diabetes among commissioners, service managers and healthcare professional and ensure services are improved to meet their specific needs.
The Clinical Champions scheme was launched by Diabetes UK in 2014 when it recruited its first cohort of Clinical Champions who included consultants, GPs and diabetes specialist nurses. These Champions are already delivering some truly inspiring transformations in diabetes care, treatment and outcomes in their local area.
A major benefit of bringing together Clinical Champions from across community, primary and secondary care is that it enables unique multi-disciplinary working among clinicians appointed from across the diabetes care pathway. This enables people to step outside of local hierarchies and rivalries and really engage with the changes needed across diabetes care.
Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “Clinicians are uniquely well placed to identify improvements needed to diabetes services but are all too often left frustrated and unable to deliver this change. However, this programme empowers Clinical Champions to drive change and gives them access to a network of like-minded clinicians who they can share challenges with.
“There is a diabetes crisis in the UK with four million people living with the condition, 549,000 of whom don’t realise they have Type 2 diabetes as they have not yet been diagnosed. There is clear evidence that investment in better diabetes care brings about both human and economic benefit; having effective services in place helps reduce personally devastating, and costly, health complications that can develop as a result of diabetes being poorly managed. As such the Champions are playing a critical role in promoting and delivering innovative and life-changing best practice.”
Dr Smith, said: “I am delighted to have been selected as a Diabetes UK Clinical Champion. It is a real honour. The number of people developing diabetes is growing at an alarming rate and we have to think creatively about how we support them. It is clear that going forward current systems of care are not going to be adequate to optimise care for people with diabetes. In particular I’d like to promote education for both patients and health care professionals to improve both patient safety and care.”
Adam Burt, Novo Nordisk’s Director UK and Ireland, said: “It is wonderful to be working with Diabetes UK on this ambitious initiative aimed at empowering a growing network of clinical champions. These are inspiring individuals who wish to become advocates for change and quality improvement in diabetes services across the NHS. In the current environment, this is no easy task and Novo Nordisk is passionate about enabling leaders who wish to drive the quality of care patients living with diabetes need and deserve“.
Anyone interested in becoming a Diabetes UK Clinical Champion for the 2017-2019 intake please contact [email protected] or call 020 7424 1896.
This is a Diabetes UK project in collaboration with Novo Nordisk who are providing support and funding.
For further media information please contact Gabriel Roberts on 020 7424 1064 or the Diabetes UK Media Relations Team on 020 7424 1165 or email [email protected]