Bridging the care gap, by Dr Paromita King
The championship role (Diabetes UK Local Clinical Champion) has come at a particularly challenging time in Derby. Having spent my time as a consultant (almost 15 years) building up quality pathways and more recently integrated care, it has been very disappointing that our award winning and nationally acclaimed service was decommissioned, potentially leaving a gap in diabetes care locally.
The leadership training and one to one mentoring has provided me with a welcome opportunity to share my concerns and consider strategies to deal with this difficult situation. Sharing experience with my Champion colleagues has also been invaluable. The support from Diabetes UK including that from Barbara Young has been beyond that expected and has given me the strength to support my team through this difficult time. The programme has given me the strength to promote a positive mind-set, essential if team members are to stick with me at a time of uncertainty. We are now in discussion with our commissioners and hope that with the facilitation support from Diabetes UK will allow us to achieve our mutual goal for equitable and quality services across the region.
The programme has also given me the opportunity to review the terms of reference for our network, where we have struggled to engage commissioners. I realised that each CCG has their own network through clinical reference groups, and that the role of our network is to reduce variation at a regional level. Therefore representation is needed from GP commissioners rather than managers. I have now engaged all the CCGs and a list of priorities appropriate for the whole of Derbyshire has been drawn up. As a clinically focused network, we anticipate that by addressing these priorities we will reduce variation across the region.
The role has also strengthened my existing contacts with Diabetes UK, both at a regional and national level. For example I have been worked with Peter Shorrick, Midlands Diabetes UK to organise a successful user engagement event in November, and we continue working on the National Diabetes in Pregnancy conference, having set up the meeting four years ago in Derby. I have also had the opportunity to become guest editor for the winter 2014 edition of Diabetes Update.
I look forward to continuing my role as a local Clinical champion, and with the support of Diabetes UK delivering quality services for people with diabetes locally, as well as using my skills to contribute to Diabetes UK’s priorities.