Lone voice on care becomes chorus, by nurse Claire Neely


As one of only two nurses selected to become a Diabetes UK Local Clinical Champion I really didn’t know what to expect entering our first meeting with the 8 other champions, all medics. Immediately, like magnets the two nurses made a beeline for each other, creating a comfort zone that has sine proven unnecessary. We were united, regardless of position, as a group of professionals all motivated to improve Diabetes care in their area. In fact, it’s been beneficial to have access to views/ideas from a range of health care professionals.

Being part of such a supportive group of professionals alongside Diabetes UK has provided an environment in which to take diabetes care forward. Included in the champions programme are days at Ashridge Business School under the supervision of Dr Guy Lubitsh with further one to one consultations, support that has proven invaluable in our journey.

The programme has built my confidence in believing that I can improve diabetes care within my area and not feel like a single voice. I have been amazed at what doors it has opened and what I have been able to achieve. Since becoming a Champion I have started to bring together all providers of Diabetes Care within the CCG to begin the process of a more integrated approach to care. Diabetes UK also chose to support 5 local network groups with my CCG being one of them. Simon Evans, Networks Project Manager, along with Olivia Hind [Diabetes UK] have supported me in bringing together a cross section of providers in Diabetes care. Our first meeting was very well attended and proved to be a very motivating experience for all involved. Leading this as a Champion rather than under my provider ‘hat’ I felt I could act in a non-biased position rather than with a potential conflict of interest.

In recognition of the Champion status my CCG invited me to take part in the redesign of the area’s Integrated Diabetes Service. Pleasingly, the redesign committee is keen to work with the newly formed network to help develop a high quality user friendly service. From here the next step is to re-establish the Local User Diabetes Network Group.

So, finally, becoming a Champion has really enabled me to start to lay the foundations to enhance Diabetes care within our CCG.


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