The charity research Diabetes UK is looking for pharmacists to take part in its Clinical Champions programme.

Diabetes UK’s head of healthcare professional engagement Amy Rylance said that ‘Clinical Champions help transform diabetes care, which in turn reduces the risk of devastating complications and makes a significant difference to the lives of people with diabetes’.

NHS England has argued that ‘growing incidences of diabetes in England is set to be one of the major clinical challenges’.

Studies have showed that pharmacists play a role in supporting patients with type 2 diabetes.

In 2016, NHS England chief executive, Simon Stevens, and chief pharmaceutical officer for England, Keith Ridge, agreed that ‘pharmacists can help patients with type 2 diabetes by regularly reviewing their medicines, cutting side-effects and improving the effectiveness of treatment, which reduces GP workload.

Leadership development

The Clinical Champions scheme, launched in 2014 with healthcare company Novo Nordisk, was created to tackle significant variation in patient care and treatment for people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK.

It includes a two-year leadership development programme, where Clinical Champions learn about ‘influcencing change’ and deliver a project that improves or transforms local diabetes care.

Until now, 65 clinicians, including pharmacists, have taken part in the programme to develop their leadership skills and become champions for improving diabetes care.

Outcomes of the training have included the development of innovative new clinics, reduction of medication errors and increase of the number of people getting treatment for diabetes.

Recruitment process

Pharmacists will be selected ‘based on their leadership potential clinical expertise and a demonstrable passion for transforming care for people with diabetes’.

Diabetes is the most devastating and fastest growing health crisis of our time, affecting 4.5 million people, which is ‘more than any other serious health condition in the UK’, said Ms Rylance.

She added: ‘When diabetes is not well managed, it is associated with serious complications including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease and amputations leading to disability and premature mortality.’