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Local pharmacist chosen as diabetes champion for Northern Ireland

A Senior Clinical Pharmacist from Northern Ireland has been selected as a Diabetes UK Clinical Champion, to help transform care for people living with diabetes.

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Rosemary Donnelly, a Senior Clinical Pharmacist in the South Eastern Trust was chosen for her passion and commitment for excellence in diabetes care.

Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. There are over 100,000 people living with diabetes in Northern Ireland. If not managed well, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to serious complications such as sight loss, amputation, kidney failure and stroke.

Diabetes care can vary widely in different regions, and many people struggle to access the vital services they need to manage their condition well. As a clinical champion, Rosemary will join a two-year leadership development programme, supported by Diabetes UK. Through her training, she will identify areas in need of improvement and drive vital changes to the diabetes services that people receive.

Rosemary Donnelly said: “I am privileged to have the opportunity to participate in the Diabetes UK Clinical Champions programme. My aim is to encourage multi-professional discussion and co-production to help improve insulin safety. Over the next 2 years I will encourage prescribers to learn from decisions they make by reflecting when they prescribe insulin with their patients.”

Rosemary is one of twenty UK healthcare professionals, including consultants, nurses, GPs, dietitians, podiatrists, pharmacists and psychologists to be appointed as clinical champions this year.

Cathaoir McDermott, Interim National Director at Diabetes UK Northern Ireland, said: “Investing in training and upskilling healthcare professionals can help reduce the number of serious diabetes-related complications, and in turn the devastating personal – and economic – costs they bring.

“Clinical champions like Rosemary play a critical role in improving the treatment and support people with diabetes receive so that they can lead long and healthy lives.”

- Cathaoir McDermott, Interim National Director at Diabetes UK Northern Ireland

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 105 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 2020-2022 intake please contact clinicalchampions@diabetes.org.uk or call 020 7424 1052. This is a Diabetes UK project in collaboration with Novo Nordisk who are providing support and funding.

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