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The Clinical Champions Programme

Group of HCPs

We develop systems leaders who start small from wherever they are, include marginalised voices, and lead together across boundaries.

This programme is a free opportunity for healthcare professionals from across the UK to develop transferrable leadership skills and build a UK-wide support network and local partnerships for collective action. Over one and a half years, they’ll build their capabilities and connections to become catalysts for the positive transformation of diabetes care.

Our programme is a collaborative effort.

The content is co-designed and delivered with healthcare professionals, community leaders and people with lived experience. This ensures relevance, inclusivity and real-world application.

It’s a training programme and a call to collective action.

The practical application of learnings from this year’s programme will focus on getting essential diabetes care right for all.

Applications for 2024-25 are now closed.

We received a huge number of very strong applications from highly dedicated healthcare professionals and will announce our two new cohorts soon. The programme will start in May 2024.

Applications are now closed. You can fill in the Expression of Interest form to be notified when the next cohort opens.

Who is the programme for?

Anyone who works in a health and care context and is committed to getting essential diabetes care right for all. We aim to develop leaders at every level of the health and care system who truly reflect the talents, diversity of staff, and the communities they serve.

We recognise potential. Clinical Champions do not need experience working in a formal leadership role.

Why this programme?

The unprecedented scale of diabetes, widening inequalities and an overstretched workforce call for leadership like never before. Such complex challenges can’t be tackled by a few heroic individuals. Leadership must be a collective effort to which people from all levels, backgrounds and different places contribute.

We believe together we can transform diabetes care so that everyone gets the care they deserve, ethnicity and deprivation no longer determine health outcomes, and staff feel valued and can create the conditions for better and fairer diabetes care.

Clinical Champions Join us to:

1. Develop collaborative leadership capabilities which apply to a diverse range of job roles and settings, whilst becoming catalysts for change in diabetes care at the community or local level. They’ll build skills that help them to develop their personal leadership style.

2. Learn how to manage upwards in the hierarchical environment of the NHS and expand into systems leadership to enable collective action across professional, hierarchical, organisational, and sector boundaries.

3. Build a national support network and local partnerships to learn and act together throughout and beyond the programme.

4. Be a driving force in advocating for diabetes essential care in underserved communities. Their leadership can bridge gaps and ensure healthcare is accessible to all.

What to expect

A small but diverse cohort

Clinical Champions learn with openness, curiosity and confidentiality in a small but diverse cohort of 20 healthcare professionals from across the UK and meet a range of experts in systems change.

A blend of in-person retreats, online sessions and local events

Clinical Champions immerse themselves in a blend of carefully curated in-person retreats, online sessions and local events. These gatherings provide a safe space to engage in reflection away from the daily routine, fostering not only learning but also connections that last.

 Real-world application of learnings

Clinical Champions apply their learning locally by collaborating with healthcare professionals, regional and national Diabetes UK teams, alumni participants, individuals with lived experience, and community groups. This collaborative approach is pivotal in addressing inequalities and optimising diabetes care.

Topics covered

  • understand yourself and your relationships in the system
  • build trust and create a collaborative environment
  • co-create a positive future vision
  • have better conversations
  • involve marginalised voices
  • use a system lens to tackle inequalities
  • make sense of complex situations
  • negotiate and Influence
  • initiate change
  • deal with uncertainty
  • sustain and scale change

What our alumni say about the programme:

“I appreciated connecting with people with the same ethos – a shared goal of improving the lives of people living with diabetes. I feel part of a tribe.”

Read our latest Evaluation Report (PDF, 2.54 MB) if you would like to know more.

During 2023, we took stock to refresh the programme to ensure it meets the needs of the current and ever-changing diabetes system. Read a case study about our Programme Refresh (PDF, 3.83 MB) if you would like to learn more about why and how we updated the programme.

How to contact us

Contact us with any questions at

This project aligns with our work around our Tackling Inequality CommissionWe will ensure that our opportunities are accessible to people from all ethnicities and backgrounds, particularly encouraging applications and providing support for those from racially minoritised ethnic groups.

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