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Clinical champion programme wins major award

By Editor
21st June 2017
Charity, Good practice

An initiative developed to empower healthcare professionals to help improve the lives of people with diabetes has won a prestigious international award.

The Diabetes UK Clinical Champions programme scooped the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) Excellence in Practice Gold award.

The programme, which encourages those working in the diabetes sector within the NHS to tackle failings and complex challenges in healthcare, fought off stiff competition from the around the world.

The award recognises the outstanding impact that the Diabetes UK Clinical Champions are having on the lives of thousands of people living with diabetes.

The innovative project has addressed multiple complex healthcare challenges and risks without adding any extra strain on the system or a single penny to the healthcare budget.

Amy Rylance, head of healthcare professional engagement at Diabetes UK, said: “The Diabetes UK Clinical Champions initiative began with the desire to make real improvements for people living with diabetes – an ambition which, given the many stark realities in healthcare, seemed almost impossible at the time.”

The directly-correlated change evidenced includes:

  • improving inpatient safety
  • reducing variability in the quality of care
  • empowering/enabling patients to control their diabetes
  • preventing serious complications
  • ensuring diabetes is kept high on the health agenda and politically.

The initiative sees diabetes nurses, doctors, clinicians, consultants and dieticians brought together for the first time and, regardless of formal position, given the authority, leadership development and practical hands-on support to make change happen.

The title of Clinical Champion and acquired association with Diabetes UK has opened doors, given clinicians ‘permission’ to action changes on behalf of the people they treat and enabled direct engagement with policy decision-makers in the NHS and UK government.

Ms Rylance added: “Diabetes healthcare professionals no longer approach CEOs with more problems; they are leaders with ideas and solutions – concrete plans for making change happen. With the NHS so stretched this is a great way forward. At last, the seemingly impossible task of addressing the complex challenges of diabetes has become an achievable reality.”

Chris Askew, Diabetes UK’s chief executive, said: “For all involved in this initiative there is the sense of being part of something bigger. A movement. Fighting for diabetes healthcare, addressing underlying challenges and raising awareness of the condition. This accolade helps us enormously with these ambitions and recognises the hard work of so many of our unsung healthcare heroes. Thank you to everyone. I am so incredibly proud.”

Speaking on behalf of EFMD, senior adviser Jan Ginneberge said: “This initiative supports participants to maximise their own return-on-efforts and be true champions for the cause well beyond their own direct working environment, including impacting national policy.”

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