Our paediatric diabetes team were adjudged as the big winner for the RCN Nursing Awards 2023 for their service that ensures that diabetes management technology is accessible for all our young patients. The team received the accolade at a ceremony on Friday 10 November at Liverpool Cathedral.
The paediatric diabetes team sought to address health inequalities experienced by those without digital skills or hardware by sourcing laptops and training to increase the number of patients accessing insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices.
The service has allowed a greater number of patients to carry out CGM monitoring at home and download data from the sensors and insulin pumps provided. This has resulted in improved diabetic control, as shown by HbA1c blood test results.
In bringing in the initiative, the nursing team built strong relationships with the medicines management team, and increased awareness of the importance of technology in diabetes management. They also sensitively identified service users who were digitally excluded due to financial constraints to direct sourcing of laptops and other technology.
Davina Jean-Jacques, paediatric specialist nurse at North Middlesex University Hospital, said: ‘Before the initiative, patients and their families were not confident in managing their diabetes, and relied on the nursing and medical team to review their needs. Now families feel empowered to manage their child’s diabetes from home. This allows families to work and earn a salary, to be able to attend school, and have a more “normal” life.’
She added: ‘The team feels elated to have won this award. We hope it inspires more specialist teams to continue to advocate for their patients and inspire confidence that those living in areas of health and social inequalities have the same outcomes as those in other parts of the UK.’
Another nurse-led project from North Mid was likewise a finalist in this year’s RCNi Awards. The project is aimed at improving the retention of experienced paediatric nursing staff and recruitment of student nurses by recognising and addressing the emotional and mental ‘cost’ on nursing staff of caring for babies, children and young people, worsened by the unprecedented impact of the covid pandemic.