DSN Spotlight – Amanda Malinga and Graham Taft
Diabetes specialist nurses are extremely important in helping patients manage their condition and overcome any challenges they may encounter.
They ensure high-quality diabetes care, which is why our DSN Spotlight series celebrates this great position and also aims to find out more about those who are making a difference to people with diabetes every day.
Name: Amanda Malinga (AM) and Graham Taft (GT)
Job title: Senior diabetes specialist nurses (inpatients)
Trust: Barts Health NHS Trust – St. Bartholomew’s Hospital
Time in position: Combined 20 + years working in the NHS
What’s your biggest challenge in diabetes today?
GT: Managing patient expectations and being constantly asked for dDiabetes diet or list of forbidden foods, by both patients and healthcare professionals.
AM: Managing diabetes in secondary care can be challenging as it sometimes takes a backseat to the primary reason for admission to hospital.
What’s been your biggest achievement in diabetes care?
GT: Helping my patients and healthcare professionals gain the confidence in Diabetes management, seeing them take control and become more positive is the best achievement.
AM: Being involved in healthcare education and seeing the transformation in the care they give to patients particularly in management of hypoglycaemia.
What would you like to see change in diabetes?
GT: Increased public education, myth busting and erasing the terms like ‘mild’ diabetes.
AM: Increase in funding for non-pharmaceutical treatments for diabetes i.e. exercise and fitness, weight management as well as talking therapies.
What’s been the biggest development in the last 10 years?
GT: Patient education (XPERT Diabetes) and technologies which support easier data sharing i.e. Emailing blood glucose profiles, food diaries and fasting tests so we can advise patients in a way that fits into their life, not relying on a formal clinical setting.
AM: There has been a major breakthrough in the development of new insulin as well as therapies that do not follow a traditional approach to diabetes management. Patients are able to achieve glycaemic targets without an increase in hypoglycaemia events and/or weight gain.
What is the best way to achieve good health outcomes with your patients?
GT: Always provide the level of care and attention you would want for your own family members and always give time to develop your skills with your diabetes team.
AM: Acknowledging that there a various factors that affect and influence diabetes self-management and people’s adherence to treatment.