Royal College of Nursing Representing nurses and nursing, promoting excellence in practice, shaping health policies

Meet the Team

Sonia Wijesundare

Diabetes Forum Chair

Samantha Kelly

Samantha Kelly

Diabetes Service Lead (Merton) for Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust

The service is commissioned by Merton & Wandsworth CCG and Sam is leading on its Tier 3 (intermediate) service implementation. The service is providing  multi-disciplinary team (Consultant, Diabetes Specialist Nurses (DSN), Dietitians, Podiatrist & Pharmacist)clinics for patients with Type 1 and 2 diabetes.

Her service also provides face to face & virtual clinics within GP surgeries to enable upskilling and partnership working in Tiers 1 & 2 (primary care) for GP’s, Practice Nurses and Community Nurses. It also delivers structured group education (DESMOND & DAFNE) in a variety of settings across Merton. 

Until 2016, Sam was previously The Diabetes Champion for Torbay & South Devon. The purpose of the role was to develop and provide a comprehensive community diabetes support service to patients, carers, GP’s, practice nurses and community nurses while promoting integrated service development between primary and secondary care. 
With experience in ward management, Care of the Older Person and General Medicine, Sam became a diabetes specialist nurse in 1996. She went on to manage and develop a team of DSN’s at Torbay Hospital. She has obtained a Master’s Degree in Diabetes and is an Independent Nurse Prescriber. 

Email Sam.

Charlotte Gordon

Charlotte Gordon

Lecturer - Adult Nursing   

MSc (Clin Res), PG Cert. (Ed), FHEA, Adv. Dip (Nurs), RN, BSc (Hons)

Following an initial grounding in biological sciences, Charlotte has been a registered nurse since 2003, working clinically across intensive care settings and then moving to focus on the management and delivery of clinical trials within the NHS. Charlotte has experience of working collaboratively across the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries both nationally and internationally in the development of novel therapeutics for people living with Diabetes. Working with the North East and Cumbria Diabetes Research Network and at the UKCRF Clinical Research Facility, Newcastle afforded the opportunity to contribute to the UK Islet Cell transplant programme, longitudinal Diabetes risk studies and also the development of immunotherapies for people with Diabetes. 

Currently in post as a lecturer in Adult Nursing at Northumbria University providing high quality education and support to pre and post registration nursing students across a broad range of subject areas. Charlotte has also developed and leads the accredited prevention and management of Diabetes continuing professional development module, for post registration nurses at Northumbria University and acts within the department as a Diabetes educator, linking with a variety of nursing programmes. 

Charlotte actively researches and publishes within the Diabetes field and was awarded a Master of Clinical Research by the University of Newcastle in 2011. Her qualitative research project explored risk, knowledge and educational approaches in the non-diabetic offspring of people with type II diabetes. This work is now being developed at doctoral level to investigate the use of wearable technologies for people at risk of developing type II diabetes. 
Charlotte maintains close links with clinical practice and is responsive to educational needs, believing passionately that all nurses should have access to flexible, high quality educational resources for Diabetes education to enhance professional knowledge, deliver the highest standards of care and ensure patient safety."

Jo Reed

Renal Diabetes Clinical Nurse Specialist, Hammersmith Hospital

Following a varied career in primary and secondary care and the charity sector, Jo became a diabetes nurse 15 years ago. For the last five years Jo has worked solely within the renal directorate of the trust, a role she finds both challenging and rewarding. She also lectures regularly and her local university on diabetes-related subjects for post-registration students.

Jo recognises that not all nurses will have a passion for diabetes and want to devote their career to it, but she believes that all health care professionals should to be competent in understanding diabetes. This would ensure that all patients with diabetes are cared for in a proficient and confident way, leading to a positive patient experience.

Jo believes that it would be a real achievement for diabetes nursing and the profession in general if there was a specific diabetes career pathway for nurses who want to pursue it.

Email Jo

Ledwina K Mutandwa

Community Diabetes Nurse, Buckinghamshire NHS Trust

Ledwina has worked in her current role since 2007. Before that she was a district nurse and had also worked in an older people’s ward. She undertook her nurse training in Harare Hosptial, Zimbabwe before moving to London in 1992. She is an independent nurse prescriber and a Queen's Nurse.

Ledwina initiated a project at her trust on safe fasting during Ramadan. The project was well-received and was awarded first place at the staff awards ceremony.

She sees the forum as central to the communication, support and development of all of its members to improve care provided to people living with diabetes. She is able to offer knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm in order to improve care and commitment.

Email Ledwina

Jackie Webb

Lead Diabetes Specialist Nurse, HGS part of University Hospitals Birmingham.

Jackie has worked in her current role since 2003. The integration of  HGS into UHB is believed to have created one of the largest hospital trusts in the UK.  

At HGS ( Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull hospitals) we are fortunate to have a dedicated Diabetes and Endocrinology Centre based on the Heartlands site where there is a world renowned and respected Diabetes Team.

As a Manager she has a broad remit that encompasses a strategic role, responsibility for service provision on three hospital sites and managing a Diabetes Specialist Nurse (DSN) team of 14 DSN’s, four part-time Diabetes specialist midwives, an Asian Link worker, administrative staff, an Outpatient clinic facility and staff and Endocrine Clinical nurse specialists.

 As well as managing the ervice and staff Jackie support clinics, has her own patient caseload and has a special interest in Preconception care and pre pregnancy planning.

Jackie initially qualified as an Enrolled Nurse in 1979, converted to RGN in 1990, attained a BSc (Hons) in Health Promotion in 2005 and her post graduate master’s level nurse prescribing qualification in 2012.

Jackie views the forum and its members as an ideal opportunity to influence and shape diabetes care and services and to support, develop and champion the role of the DSN.

Email Jackie.

Helen Donovan


Professional Lead: Helen Donovan


Helen Donovan RCN Professional Lead for Public health, supports the RCN public health and diabetes forums, she has a wide sphere of influence; supporting members, promoting professional networks and sharing good practice. 

The professional lead role is across the UK and involves providing evidence for policy makers, commissioners and providers, influencing policy development.

Helen’s work particularly involves supporting nurses working in a variety of specialist public health roles but also the wider nursing workforce to embrace their public health contribution. She also maintains a senior lecturer position at the University of Hertfordshire and lectures independently on vaccination and public health. She also has a role with North London STP and Barnet CCG in supporting nursing workforce.

Page last updated - 16/07/2019