The topic of recruitment and retention of diabetes specialist nurses (DSNs) was discussed at the recent All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Diabetes meeting.
TREND-UK, a leading organisation for diabetes nurses, got the opportunity to voice their concerns about the specialist role and how there is currently no single defining qualification for the job.
Debbie Hicks, Jill Hill and June James, the co-chairs of TREND-UK, are keen for a diabetes nursing qualification to be introduced to standardise the qualities needed for nurses specialising in the condition.
They want the role to have a clearer definition and for a single foundation diabetes specialist qualification to be made available, as is currently in place across Northern Ireland.
Debbie said: “While having a vital role for people with diabetes, DSNs have been facing overwhelming challenges. The workforce gets smaller while the demand gets bigger, with the ever increasing number of people diagnosed with diabetes. How can we improve the training, retention and progression of the role?”
During the APPG meeting, which was chaired by Keith Vaz MP, Debbie and Jill discussed how there are numerous titles used by DSNs across the UK. TREND-UK said this makes it very difficult to identify the nurses providing a diabetes specialist nursing service and importantly, demonstrate how many DSNs there are currently in relation to the increasing numbers of people with diabetes.
Diabetes UK also has concerns about this and Helen Atkins from the charity was also in attendance at the APPG meeting.
TREND-UK and Diabetes UK are working together to create a position statement on the subject to be released early next year.
Attendees also heard from healthcare professionals and people with diabetes on the importance of DSNs for diabetes care and the challenges faced across the UK.
News report from The Diabetes Times.
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