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Dr Alison Heggie

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2022 - 2023 Clinical Champions Community: Leading Diabetes Care Innovation

Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrine, and General Medicine, Raigmore Hospital, NHS Highland

 

Introduction

I have been a consultant for almost 4 years now and really enjoy the extra opportunities this role provides in developing services and improving patient care, compared to being a doctor in training. I moved trusts in early 2021 and have a really supportive team both clinically and in management to help me achieve goals. I am particularly passionate about improving inpatient diabetes care and also diabetes foot disease management. I really enjoy the teamwork approach of our specialty and the holistic care involved.

Outside of work I love living in the Highlands and hiking in the incredible countryside with my husband and 2 cocker spaniels.

What gifts, strengths, or unique experiences do you intend to bring to your development work? 

I have made some quite significant changes in my life in the past two years, most noticeably moving across the country in the middle of a pandemic. From this I bring experience of making huge changes and can support others to do so. I also have the experience of working in a trust which covers a very wide geographical area and the challenges that provides. Being a team-player is a vital part of my vocation and in my first year in my new workplace I have already instituted some projects, such as creating a diabetes foot MDT. Hence, I bring experience and skills in leading diverse groups of new colleagues to develop improvements in diabetes care. 

What area of change are you currently passionate about in diabetes care? 

Currently, improving diabetes foot service in my local area. I also have a developing project which aims to strengthen links between primary and secondary care. 

What most excites you about this journey? 

I found I really flourished with the support of the other Clinical Champions during the original course. Therefore, I am most excited about the prospect of seeing my own further development resulting in improvements in diabetes care, plus supporting others to do so. The input of healthcare professionals in other disciplines and in other areas of the UK on the programme has been invaluable. 

 

2019 - 2021 Clinical Champions

Consultant, South Tyneside District Hospital

As one of our Clinical Champions, Alison plans to improve inpatient diabetes care by delivering targeted diabetes education to all member of the multidisciplinary teams. The aim of this is to provide healthcare professionals with the knowledge and the confidence to manage diabetes on the ward. Alison will also be focusing on inpatient diabetes foot care for all patients living with diabetes by developing a foot examination program.

Background

Alison initially became interested in diabetes as a medical student in Edinburgh when she undertook a research project investigating the relationship between hypertension and microalbuminuria. She did her specialty training in the North East of England, from which she is in the final stages of completing a PhD investigating pancreatic dysfunction in Type 2 diabetes. Alison has subspecialist interests in diabetic foot disease, inpatient diabetes care and monogenic diabetes.

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