Coinciding with International Nurses Day (12 May 2017), a Diabetes Specialist Nurse at Tayside Children’s Hospital has been nominated for the prestigious Diabetes Scotland John Ireland Award in recognition of his many years of service to the diabetes community.
International Nurses Day recognises and thanks nursing staff; the ‘superheroes’ of health care. They’re there when needed most and changing lives with their unique set of skills. Diabetes Specialist Nurse, Scott Graham of NHS Tayside (pictured above), is one of those special individuals who goes above and beyond for his patients. His commitment and dedication has also earned him a nomination for Diabetes Scotland’s highest honour – the John Ireland Award – which is presented to an individual who has served the diabetes community in Scotland with distinction.
Scott has been a Paediatric Nurse for 20 years, training at NHS Tayside, before qualifying as a Diabetes Specialist Nurse 14 years ago. His career has taken him across Scotland and beyond, including a period in New Zealand, before returning to Dundee in 2015. He was inspired to join the professional following his own ill health as a child and experiencing great care.
As well as his commitment to his role as a Diabetes Specialist Nurse, Scott is very active as a volunteer in the diabetes community. He has offered his time and expertise at numerous Diabetes UK Care Events over the years, including weekends and week-long residentials, providing invaluable support to the charity in helping families, children and young people better understand and manage their diabetes. Scott has also just finished his tenure on the charity’s Scottish Advisory Council offering his expert guidance and knowledge of NHS Scotland to inform Diabetes Scotland’s work.
Scott said: “I love my job as a Diabetes Specialist Nurse. I’m privileged to meet so many wonderful children and young people and support them and their carers on their diabetes journey. Hopefully I am helping them in some small way to live well with diabetes, achieve their goals, and support them with the many challenges along the way.
“Volunteering for so many years on Diabetes UK care events has given me a much greater insight into living with diabetes and the daily effort and motivation that’s required to manage blood glucose levels safely. I have learned so much and been inspired by fellow volunteers, many of whom who have diabetes or are parents of children with diabetes, as well as the children and young people that I have met on camps and at family weekends.
"The experience has been hugely influential in my approach as a Diabetes Specialist Nurse, particularly when it comes to setting goals with people. It has highlighted to me the importance of listening properly, understanding a person’s life and adapting my guidance to their individual need.”
Additionally, Scott is a keen fundraiser for Diabetes UK and he will soon be getting on his bike as part of a team which is cycling 500 miles, from Welwyn Garden City to Dundee, in just five days.
Scott said: “I’m looking forward to the 500 mile cycle. It will be a grueling physical and mental challenge and I’m currently in training to build up the required resilience and fitness. It will be interesting how the exhaustion levels of this activity compares to a week on a Diabetes UK children’s camp - both very demanding in different ways!”
Scott will be attending the Diabetes Scotland Inspire Awards on Saturday 13 May in Glasgow. The Awards celebrate the achievements of volunteers who are making a positive difference to the lives of people living with diabetes.
Allan Kirkwood, Volunteer Development Manager at Diabetes Scotland, said: “Scott is a great supporter of Diabetes Scotland and is well respected within the diabetes community, particularly among families of children with Type 1 diabetes. He has gone above and beyond his role as a Diabetes Specialist Nurse to help families through the tough transition of a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis and ensure they have the knowledge, skills and support to manage the condition well.
“Through our Inspire Awards we thank our hard working volunteers, like Scott, for their contributions and highlight the positive difference their work has made to the lives of people who are living with diabetes.
“There are more than 285,000 people living with diabetes in Scotland. Our dedicated volunteers help support people to manage their condition well, campaign to improve the quality of care available, and fundraise for pioneering research which will lead us towards a world where diabetes ca do no harm. Our volunteers are out there working hard in the community day in and day out. Diabetes Scotland’s work wouldn’t be possible without their incredible support and I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all of our volunteers who make an enormous positive difference to the diabetes community in Scotland.”
The Inspire Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution of Diabetes Scotland volunteers across various categories. The winners are chosen by a judging panel and will be presented with their award at the ceremony in Glasgow on Saturday 13 May 2017. Award winners will also be put forward for consideration for theDiabetes UK Inspire Awardswhich will be judged and presented in London in summer 2017.