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Leading the way in Diabetes care

10 Apr 2017

A Manchester practice nurse is leading the way in improving care for thousands of patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Nicola Milne from Northenden Group Practice in Manchester, currently manages almost 700 patients with type 2 diabetes. She said: “When you are consulting with someone with diabetes who feels well it can be difficult to explain to them the potential damage that could be happening within their bodies as a result of poorly controlled conditions such as high blood pressure, raised cholesterol and a high HbA1c.”

Diabetes UK has developed information prescriptions that not only alert clinicians to key information on their patients’ condition during consultations, but also give patients the tailored information they need to self-manage their condition at home.
 
Nicola completed her nurse training at MRI before working in gynaecology. She was then a midwife at Saint Mary’s Hospital for ten years before been given the opportunity to move into primary care at Northenden Group Practice where she has worked for the last 14 years. 

She said: “I was then asked to take a special interest in diabetes and undertook academic training and practical mentoring to fulfil this role. I have gone from being quite inexperienced  at my first Diabetes UK conference to now being part of the professional organising committee! In March I take over as vice chair, and from March 2018, chair, and it will be the first time a practice nurse will have held this position.”

Nicola is also an active member of the Primary Care Diabetes Society Committee, an editorial board member of two diabetes journals and was made a Queen’s Nurse in May 2016, a programme designed for community nurses who want to develop their professional skills and promote the highest standards of patient care. 

Northenden Group Practice has been using information prescriptions for around two years and Nicola has noticed an enhancement in care, with the information being both relevant  and individualised. “They streamline collaborative care and act as a good prompt for health care professionals who may not  be consulting with people with diabetes regularly They really are helping us to provide better diabetes care for thousands of people.”

Nicola is on the Diabetes UK working group helping to develop the information prescriptions with EMIS Health and is excited about future developments saying: “We are now looking at diabetes and pregnancy. This information Prescription is for women with diabetes who are of child bearing age.  With the system alert function, we can give appropriate pre-conception advice and ensure that if a woman is planning a pregnancy then appropriate care and health education is given.”

She believes that primary care nurses need to be actively supported as they are often the first point of contact and deliver a great deal of education and care to those with Type 2 Diabetes and are extremely effective in what they do. This scheme is a perfect example of developing skills whilst improving patient care.