A specialist podiatrist has been selected as a Diabetes UK Cymru Clinical Champion, to help transform care for people living with diabetes in Wales.
Jessica Rees, who is based at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, in Llantrisant, was chosen for her passion for and commitment to excellence in diabetes care.
Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly.
If not managed well, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to serious complications that include blindness, amputation, kidney failure and stroke.
Diabetes care can vary widely in different regions, and many people struggle to access the vital services they need to manage their condition well.
As a Clinical Champion, Jessica will join a two-year leadership development programme, supported by Diabetes UK Cymru.
Through her training, she will identify areas in need of improvement and drive vital changes to the diabetes services that people in Wales receive.
Jessica said: “I am excited to start my new role as a Diabetes UK Cymru Clinical Champion and to make further improvements for patients with diabetic foot ulceration.
“I will be further developing our Total Contact Casting service in order to improve efficiency and outcomes, minimising the risk of re-ulceration and ultimately improve the health and wellbeing of those recovering from diabetic foot ulceration.”
Jessica is one of 20 UK healthcare professionals, including consultants, nurses, GPs, dietitians, podiatrists, pharmacists and psychologists to be appointed as a Clinical Champion this year.
Dai Williams, National Director, Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “Diabetes is the most devastating and fastest-growing health crisis of our time, and Wales has the highest prevalence of diabetes in the UK.
“More than 191,000 people in Wales are currently living with diabetes, and this costs the NHS in Wales £500 million per year, 10 per cent of its annual budget.
“Investing in diabetes care will help reduce serious complications and in turn reduce the devastating personal and economic costs that can result from poor management of the condition.
“Champions like Jessica play a critical role in improving the services people in Wales with diabetes receive, and contribute to our vision of creating a world where diabetes can do no harm.”
Diabetes UK’s award-winning Clinical Champions programme provides leadership development to healthcare professionals, enabling them to improve diabetes care and bring innovative solutions to local problems.
There are now 85 champions across the UK who have access to a network of like-minded clinicians with whom they can share expertise, experience and best practice.
If you are interested in becoming a Diabetes UK Clinical Champion for the 2019-2021 intake please contact [email protected] or call 020 7424 1892. This is a Diabetes UK project in collaboration with Novo Nordisk who are providing support and funding.