A nurse from Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust has been awarded a prestigious fellowship that will allow her to travel abroad to learn about new and innovative ways of tackling diabetes.
Gayle Richards, lead diabetes specialist nurse, has been awarded a Travelling Fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust after beating 1031 other applications and 285 people at interview stage to become one of just 10 people awarded a fellowship in the Nursing and Allied Health Professionals category.
In her application, Gayle outlined what she wanted to do and where she wanted to go if she was awarded the fellowship. She was praised for her focussed and clear aim to learn about the latest and most effective developments in treating diabetes, and in particular episodes of hypoglycaemia, which happen when blood sugar levels are too low and can be a difficult problem for people on insulin.
Gayle said: “I am really excited to have been awarded this fellowship. I am now looking forward to travelling to the USA and the Netherlands to meet some of the world’s leading diabetes experts and bring back the latest best practice ideas to northern Devon.”
She will be attending the American Diabetes Association Annual Conference in San Diego in June, which is known as the most important conference in the world on the subject of diabetes. She will learn about the latest best practice in treating diabetes and educating people about managing their condition.
Whilst in the USA, Gayle will also take part in an educational programme in Boston, where she will attend a number of clinics that help people manage episodes of hypoglycaemia.
In the autumn, Gayle will head to the Netherlands to learn about another educational programme, which teaches people to recognise warning signs of hypoglycaemia and includes online help for patients.
Andrea Bell, deputy director of nursing and head of professional practice, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Gayle and also for the diabetes team at the Trust.
“The team does a lot of great work. As well as treating our inpatients with diabetes and advising staff on treating hypoglycaemia, the team run clinics to educate patients about managing their diabetes, and runs study days for nurses and healthcare assistants who see patients in their own homes.
“The ideas and additional knowledge that Gayle brings back with her have a potential to not only benefit people with diabetes in northern Devon but nationally too.”
The Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship gives funding for UK citizens to travel overseas in pursuit of new and better ways of tackling a wide range of the current challenges facing the UK.
Julia Weston, chief executive of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, said:
“Our hope is that exposure to practical, positive practices overseas will enable the individuals we fund to contribute to the delivery and leadership of an effective healthcare system in the UK.”