DSN Spotlight – Erwin Castro
The role of the diabetes specialist nurse is hugely important in ensuring high-quality diabetes care. Our new 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: Erwin Castro
Job title: Diabetes Specialist Nurse (Inpatient and Education)
Trust: East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
Time in position: 10 years
What’s your biggest challenge in diabetes today?
There is an ever increasing number of people diagnosed with diabetes year on year. It is becoming more difficult to ensure that all of them receives the care they need to enable them to live without fear of long-term complications.
As the number of people diagnosed increases, it is unfortunate that the number of services that should be looking after them, including the diabetes specialist nurses, are getting smaller.
What’s been your biggest achievement in diabetes care?
As an inpatient DSN, knowing the initiatives I helped introduce are showing improvements in the standards of care received by patients in the hospital is an amazing achievement.
After sharing our local experiences to other DSN colleagues and for them to adapt the initiatives in their own trust make all the efforts and challenges worthwhile.
As an educator, being able to see some positive differences in the actual care delivered by hospital staff in the care of people with diabetes gives me great professional satisfaction.
Personally, to be named as Outstanding Educator in Diabetes, for doing a job that I love, is an added bonus.
What would you like to see change in diabetes?
I would like to see a real development in diabetes education. It would be ideal to have a diabetes competency framework for diabetes healthcare professionals that is structured with ongoing competency reviews to ensure that there is less if not absent variations in the care we deliver.
What’s been the biggest development in the last 10 years?
The recognition that patients’ views are integral in any plans related to diabetes service development and provision. There is now more emphasis on patient engagement as well as empowerment.
Needs assessment are carried out in order to deliver a service that is responsive to local needs of the population.
What is the best way to achieve good health outcomes with your patients?
Being informed could result to increase in motivation and empowerment. These in turn could lead to better outcomes. Ensuring that patients are involved in their care can improves their ownership of their diabetes. Education is key.