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Katy's story: helping young people as a diabetes specialist nurse

Katy Diabetes nurse

Katy Gerrard

Katy has been diabetes specialist nurse for more than 6 years.

The programme gave me the confidence to knock on people’s doors and believe that I can make change.

Katy is a diabetes nurse. She wanted to see improvements in care in the young adults diabetes service in derby. That's how she got involved with our Tomorrow's Leaders programme and ChangeLabs.

Journey with diabetes

Katy's journey as a diabetes nurse

  • Katy has been a diabetes specialist nurse for 6 years.
  • Wanted to improve the standards of care for the young diabetes service at Derby Hospital.
  • Took part in the Tomorrow's Leaders coaching programme.
  • Helped us build the ChangeLab to engage closely with young adults with diabetes.

Diabetes UK and me

Tomorrow's Leaders

"Tomorrow’s Leaders was the starting point, the catalyst for me," says Katy. "The programme gave me the confidence to knock on people’s doors and believe that I can make change, by thinking outside the box".
Katy Gerrard, a diabetes specialist nurse (DSN), took part in the Tomorrow’s Leaders programme with a plan to lead improvements to the young adult diabetes service at Derby Hospital. Through coaching at our Tomorrow’s Leaders Programme, she identified that her priority was to give the young people using the service meaningful opportunities to help shape improvements to their care. 

We worked with Katy to help her build the confidence and skills to make bold steps and test her ideas with her team. With our support Katy secured a free dinner at Nando’s for some of the young people she aimed to engage. She used this opportunity learn about how their voice could be better heard. 




From here we built the ChangeLab together engaging both members of the team and young people who used the service, in a meaningful and positive way. As a result, members of the young adult and paediatric teams from Derby Hospital came together with five young adults with diabetes who use the service but had not engaged well with it in the past.
Since then, Katy and her team have established evening clinics and a one-stop shop for annual reviews. They have changed the ways in which they reach out to young people, successfully engaging with many who were lost in the system. They have also secured funding to launch an app for young people to access information and support more easily and are continuing to make other improvements to the service to improve access to care.

Find out more about ChangeLabs

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