A breakthrough initiative devised by leading experts at the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been named as a finalist in the Quality in Care (QiC) Diabetes 2023 Awards.
The project, spearheaded by the Exeter Monogenic Diabetes team based at the Royal Devon, set out to increase referrals for genetic testing. This ambitious undertaking involved training a dedicated diabetes consultant and a diabetes specialist nurse for every NHS trust in England.
Since the project launched in 2021, over 1054 healthcare professionals have signed up to the specialist monogenic diabetes training programme. This has led to increased referrals, better diagnosis, and improved treatment, and many patients have been able to stop insulin injections and transfer to tablets.
The initiative has been driven by leading Exeter diabetes nurse, Professor Maggie Shepherd, winner of the 2023 international Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award. Maggie received the award earlier this year for her contribution to the field of monogenic diabetes. The expertise of Maggie and the monogenic diabetes team has led to improved understanding and treatment of this condition, transforming the lives of countless individuals.
Caused by a change to a single gene, Monogenic diabetes affects around 12,000 people in England and can have numerous health implications if left undetected. Specific training can help healthcare professionals identify cases sooner, enabling referral for genetic testing. This ultimately leads to the correct diabetes diagnosis, a better care experience for patients, and improved health outcomes.
National support from NHS England and key stakeholders from the NHS Genomic Medicine Service played a pivotal role in supporting the development of cutting-edge virtual training, and there are now monogenic diabetes leads in 95% of acute NHS trusts in England.
Professor Maggie Shepherd said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been named as a finalist in the Quality in Care Diabetes 2023 awards. We are extremely grateful to NHSE and the Genomic Medicine Services Alliances for their support enabling us to train diabetes teams in monogenic diabetes in every trust in England. Anyone wishing to attend our training course or access more information about monogenic diabetes can find out more onwww.diabetesgenes.org”
Now in its 14th year, QiC Diabetes recognises, rewards and shares innovative practice demonstrating quality in diabetes management, education and services for people with diabetes and/or their families. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday 12 October 2023.
Last updated: October 05, 2023