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Leicester’s diabetes community scoop seven awards in prestigious award ceremonies

Heroes from Leicester’s diabetes community are celebrating a successful year after winning seven accolades at two prestigious national industry award ceremonies.

Senior Diabetes Nurse Specialist at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Rachel Berrington, was named Diabetes Healthcare Professional of the Year at the 2019 Quality in Care (QiC) Diabetes Awards, which were held at the Sanofi UK headquarters in Reading.

This award recognises diabetes healthcare professionals based in the UK or Ireland who have succeeded in raising standards of care over and above their day to day role.

Rachel said:

“It means the absolute world to me to be recognised and I feel privileged to be part of my patients’ lives. I don’t do it for the recognition, I do it to improve the lives of people with diabetes, but it was nice to get a pat on the back.”

At the same awards, Children’s Diabetes Support Worker at UHL Leicester Royal Infirmary, Sarah Lockwood-Lee, was recognised as an Outstanding Educator in Diabetes for the work she does with children and young people newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Judges described Sarah’s insight and knowledge of how children learn through play as “fantastic” - recognising how her skills and enthusiasm have been passed onto healthcare professionals across the Children and Young People’s East Midlands Diabetes Network (CYPEMDN).

Effective Diabetes Education Now (EDEN), an NHS organisation that delivers training programmes to healthcare professionals to improve their care and knowledge in diabetes based at Leicester Diabetes Centre, was highly commended in the Education Programmes Healthcare Professionals category for their “innovative” COMPLEMENT (Complete Mentoring and Diabetes Education for Clinically Practicing Pharmacists) education programme.

The judges remarked:

“The COMPLEMENT education programme provides many different learning environments, such as face-to-face, mentoring and workshops. It is innovative, clever and sets a standard for future programmes. Even this early in the programme, the potential is clear and the judges look forward to seeing how it develops."

Laura Willcocks, EDEN’s Senior Education and Research Associate, said:

“We are a team of clinicians, academics and specialists in education. This means we can provide a unique portfolio of experience, credibility and up-to-date evidence base.

“We are delighted our programmes have been recognised and we are proud to provide teams and organisations with the opportunity to transform diabetes care by enhancing the skill levels of staff involved in diabetes treatment. This in turn leads to improved outcomes for people with diabetes.”

EDEN also won Education Programme of the Year and Industry Collaboration at the Diabetes Professional Care (DPC) Industry Awards ceremony, which took place after day one of the national conference at Olympia London on the evening of Wednesday, October 30.

Further awards were presented to Leicester Diabetes Centre who won Research Project of the Year and Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Award for their work on the Cities Changing Diabetes (CCD) programme in which Leicester officially became the first UK city to join a global campaign to improve the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes in urban environments.

CCD is a partnership programme initiated by Novo Nordisk in response to the dramatic rise in diabetes and its emerging links to urbanisation.

Academic lead for Cities Changing Diabetes in Leicester Dr Deirdre Harrington, said:

“It was a real honour to win these awards. Stakeholders including faith centres, Leicester city council and the city professional sports clubs are working with us to achieve mutual goals. The awards recognise the work we do in Leicester that has local impact and global relevance.”

Professor Kamlesh Khunti, who is also Co-Director of the Leicester Diabetes Centre, added:

“Diabetes education and self-management programmes are an essential component of diabetes care. These awards are testament to the hard work of all of the team at the Leicester Diabetes Centre, who are committed to making a difference in the world of diabetes.”

Professor Melanie Davies CBE, from the University of Leicester and Director of the NIHR Leicester BRC, is also Director of the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre and a Diabetes Consultant at Leicester’s Hospitals.

She added:

“We are all hugely proud of what we’ve achieved and to have our work recognised is hugely rewarding. We’re a leading applied health research unit committed to improving the lives and care of people with diabetes and other long-term conditions.”

The highly prestigious awards, which recognise and reward outstanding efficiency and improvement by the NHS were held in association with The Diabetes Times, the leading dedicated news source for diabetes healthcare professionals.

Picture: Professor Partha Carr and Senior Diabetes Nurse Specialist, Rachel Berrington

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