DSN Spotlight – Gill Dunn
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: Gill Dunn
Job title: Diabetes Specialist Nurse (medicines management team) with responsibility for Healthcare Professional Education (HCP)
Trust: Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern CCG
Time in position: Three years
What’s your biggest challenge in diabetes today?
Finding the monetary and time resources for effective education for patients and HCPs.
What’s been your biggest achievement in diabetes care?
Helping to raise the profile of diabetes care within the CCG. Initiating a programme of education for patients and HCPs around first-line therapy (metformin) to minimise delay and optimisation of treatment. I am currently introducing education programme for HCPs as part of a diabetes transformation project for CCG, which includes Residential and Nursing homes. I have also just completed a ‘Care Home Protocol’ for the management of Diabetes in Residential Homes’.
What would you like to see change in diabetes?
I would like increased focus and resources for HCP education to improve care delivery and reduce variation of practice. Improved patient access to psychological support to facilitate behavioural changes and coping mechanisms to help with weight loss, and increased access to patient education for insulin management.
What’s been the biggest development in the last 10 years?
The development and research into new therapies providing greater choice.
What is the best way to achieve good health outcomes with your patients?
Education Education Education! Patients need the knowledge, skills and support to manage their diabetes. HCPs need to be competent, confident, consistent and compassionate about diabetes care delivery.