I trained in Plymouth Devon and qualified in 1984, returning to Wales; I started in Care of the elderly and moved into acute Medicine. My desire was to work with patients within their own homes, so was successful securing a community nurse role. I extended my qualification undertaking a community specialist Diploma, where I had opportunity to examine how we looked after the housebound diabetes patient and used this learning to establish a register on my return for annual and diabetes review. This paved the way for a secondment into a diabetes specialist nurse role.
I grew and developed my experience and knowledge by attending specialist courses and visiting other centres to bench mark and develop services. I moved to a new role and initiated an intermediate care team, based in primary care. Patient education prompted instigating a patient reference group to help design and monitor service provision. I then lead a strand of a BHF funded weight management project which prompted me to undertake a Masters in weight management through Chester University.
I sit on the Diabetes Planning and delivery Group in ABUHB, I host the Educational Sub – Group and facilitate the Patient Reference Group that feeds into the DPDG. I also sit on the Welsh Academy of Diabetes Nursing (WAND) which is a group representing Diabetes nursing in Wales and is aligned to the All Wales Implementation Group. Formerly known as the National Advisory Group. I am on the steering committee of the National Welsh Informatics Service (NWIS) Welsh Information Solution Diabetes Mellitus (WISDM) which is setting out an IT solution to record care electronically across both primary and secondary/community care settings. I also sit on the At the 4 front academy which is a national group for Diabetes nurse leaders. My newest role is as Clinical Champion for Diabetes UK.
As clinical champion, I wish to pursue the establishment of diabetes education as an equal integral element of diabetes care. I am eager to provide people with diabetes and their families, with the best treatment options and levels of education. I am an advocate of empowerment and enablement of people, to activate towards making decisions with knowledge and understanding of the outcomes. They may or may not be the decisions I would make but I am crushed by the statement ‘if only I had known, I would of done things differently’ has been my driver. Behaviour change and motivational interviewing techniques have been a revelation, challenging colleagues to adopt these strategies in management of patients who appear to be ‘stuck’ is fascinating and prompts more study.