DSN SPOTLIGHT – Sarah Gregory
The role of the diabetes specialist nurse is hugely important in ensuring high-quality diabetes care. 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: Sarah Gregory
Job title: In-Patient Diabetes Specialist Nurse
Trust: East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust
Time in position: Eight years
What’s your biggest challenge in diabetes today?
The volume of patients – and those who are not given clear messages at the point of diagnosis. Lack of understanding of the seriousness of diabetes and its potential complications.
What’s been your biggest achievement in diabetes care?
Becoming a Diabetes UK clinical champion and being given the opportunity to drive change and improve diabetes care within the area I work.
I also have my own training company which gives me the opportunity to work across the whole healthcare system in delivering diabetes education – this has allowed me to work on projects with other stakeholders and develop a model for diabetes education in care homes.
What would you like to see change in diabetes?
Improved standards in care homes, including assessment of diabetes needs prior to placing in care home.
I am passionate about the care that these elderly, vulnerable patients receive and believe hospital admissions can be reduced and improved quality of life achieved if care home staff are given the right support and training.
What’s been the biggest development in the last 10 years?
Apart from the influx of various medications and insulin, the biggest development I see is around screening and risk assessment of patients – to advise of reducing risk of type 2 diabetes and diagnosing early.
What is the best way to achieve good health outcomes with your patients?
Facilitative approach – asking them the questions for them to find the answers, to encourage self-management and be positive about the small changes that are important to them.
Working with all healthcare professionals to achieve the best outcomes for patients and education of patients, carers and staff.