DSN Spotlight – Linda Clapham
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.
Job title: Linda Clapham
Trust: Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust
Time in position: 30 years
What’s your biggest challenge in diabetes today?
The biggest challenge is maintaining quality care with increasing numbers of people being diagnosed with diabetes and the large number of new treatments and the increasing technologies available to support people with diabetes, whilst at the same time keeping hold of the basics, such as correct injection technique and developing relationships that promote and enable people to feel in control and supported during the changes they often need to make.
What’s been your biggest achievement in diabetes care?
I’ve been very lucky throughout my diabetes career, having won the Professional Nurse of the year in 1991 and nominated for other awards, but my best achievement was when I was able to help a patient get funding to go onto an insulin pump and see him gain confidence and as he said he ‘got his life back’ after a long period of living in fear with poor control.
What would you like to see change in diabetes?
I’d like there to be robust patient journeys agreed with the underlying principle of what I would want if a member of my family was diagnosed today should happen, I’d like unnecessary barriers to be removed and for people with diabetes to be able to see the right person, in the right place at the right time. I’d also like to see some ring fenced budget allocated to things which prevent problems in the future rather than fire fighting where we are now.
What’s been the biggest development in the last 10 years?
Technology, such as pumps and continuous monitoring systems, as well as the ‘flash monitoring’ as well as for us using ultrasound to help with injection site issues.
What is the best way to achieve good health outcomes with your patients?
Maintain accessability; build relationships and education for effective self-management and never give up, so often people surprise you and it’s fantastic when it happens.