DSN Spotlight – Claire Henke
The role of the diabetes specialist nurse is continually evolving and is crucial in ensuring high-quality diabetes care. Our DSN Spotlight series celebrates the people who work tirelessly in this role, while also finding out what inspires them to keep them wanting to make a significant impact on people with diabetes every day.
Job Title: Diabetes Specialist Nurse
Trust: Frimley Health Foundation Trust
Time in position: 14 years
What’s you biggest challenge in diabetes today?
Keeping up with the growing demand within the diabetes service and proving to the NHS the need for increasing staffing numbers, when budgets are so tight.
We have been historically under staffed within our catchment area and although our performance levels meet average achievement, this is only due to the good will and overtime that all of us give to the service. Our passion, as a team, to provide an improved service for our patients in this rapid developing world of technology and diabetes is fortunate, but not sustainable.
What’s been your biggest achievement in diabetes care?
We were fortunate to be funded by our local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) two years ago, to set up DAFNE within our service. Through hard work and commitment we have now provided the gold standard structured education for over 80 of our patients with type 1 diabetes.
What would you like to see change in diabetes?
I would like there to be less of a gap between primary and secondary care and that the whole of the ICS becomes one big team, providing a better service throughout a patients journey.
What’s been the biggest development in the last 10 years?
The world of technology within diabetes and the number of devices now available within our service has made a huge impact. We now offer 11 different pumps from eight different companies and have doubled the number of patients with type 1 diabetes on pumps to over a 100 in the last two years.
What is the best way to achieve good health outcomes with your patients?
To be able to provide a service that not only supports people with all types of diabetes, but also promotes self-management. To enable patients to manage their diabetes and live a normal life whilst reinforcing skills such as ‘sick day rules’ for admission avoidance.