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Local healthcare professionals chosen as diabetes champions for Northern Ireland

A Diabetes Specialist Nurse and a Diabetes Specialist Dietitian, both from the Western Trust area, have been selected as Diabetes UK Clinical Champions, to help transform care for people living with diabetes.

Mairead McClintock, a Diabetes Specialist Nurse, and Siobhan Monaghan, a Diabetes Specialist Dietitian, at the South West Acute Hospital were chosen for their passion for, and commitment to excellence in diabetes care.

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Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body can't use it correctly. Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to serious complications that include blindness, amputation, kidney failure and stroke.

Diabetes care can vary in different regions, and many people struggle to access the vital services they need to manage their condition. As Clinical Champions, Mairead and Siobhan will join a two-year leadership development programme. Through their training, they will identify areas in need of improvement and drive important changes to the diabetes services that people in the Western Trust receive.

Mairead McClintock said: “I am really looking forward to my new role as Diabetes UK clinical champion, my aim is to improve the experience of diabetes patients when they are admitted to hospital. I am focusing on staff training and will be looking at innovative ideas to improve the knowledge and increase the awareness of diabetes among all staff.

Siobhan Monoghan- Clinical Champion 2018

Siobhan Monaghan added: “I'm thrilled and honoured to be appointed a Diabetes UK Clinical Champion. I’m excited that this opportunity will help me further develop our diabetes service for women of child bearing age, helping improve pregnancy outcomes in both planned and unplanned pregnancies.”

Mairead and Siobhan are two of twenty UK healthcare professionals, including consultants, nurses, GPs, dietitians, podiatrists, pharmacists and psychologists to be appointed as a Clinical Champion this year.

Jillian Patchett, National Director at Diabetes UK Northern Ireland, said:

“Diabetes is the most devastating and fastest-growing health crisis of our time, and now affects 4.6 million people across the UK. That’s more than cancer and dementia combined – and more than any other serious health condition in the UK.

“Investing in diabetes care in this way, will help reduce serious complications, and in turn reduce the devastating personal – and economic – costs that can result from poor management of the condition.

“Champions like Mairead and Siobhan play a critical role in improving the services people with diabetes receive, and contribute massively to our vision of creating a world where diabetes can do no harm.”

The award-winning Clinical Champions programme provides leadership development to healthcare professionals, enabling them to improve diabetes care and bring innovative solutions to local problems. There are now 85 champions across the UK who have access to a network of like-minded clinicians with whom they can share expertise, experience and best practice.

If you are interested in becoming a Diabetes UK Clinical Champion for the 2019-2021 intake, please contact clinicalchampions@diabetes.org.uk or call 020 7424 1892. This is a Diabetes UK project in collaboration with Novo Nordisk who are providing support and funding.

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