Diabetes Specialist Nurse Carolyn Thelwell
A Flintshire nurse is the 2020 Frederick Banting Award winner from Swansea University.
Diabetes Nurse Carolyn Thelwell received the academic award for her work evaluating how service improvements can positively impact patient care.
The award recognizes outstanding training and research as part of the course at the end of a course.
Carolyn, who works with colleagues in the community and at hospitals in the Rhyl area to help people with diabetes.
She completed a two-year Masters in Diabetes Practice from Swansea University.
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes people’s glucose levels to rise. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, controls the amount of glucose in the blood.
Frederick Banting was a Canadian physician who received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1923 for the discovery of insulin in collaboration with another medical scientist, John James Rickard Macleod. Until it was discovered, type 1 diabetes was a fatal disease for humans.
The award is given to the student with the highest score in their MSc dissertation. Carolyn’s work consisted of a 15,000 word assessment and portfolio of how to improve patient management in sub-specialty clinics.
Carolyn, who lives in Mold, Flintshire, said, “I love my job, I think diabetes is a really interesting topic. I love helping people with diabetes find answers and empowering them manage yourself. ”
“Empowering and supporting patients is at the heart of everything we do, and diabetes is huge in Wales. Around 8 percent of the population has diabetes, the highest of the four UK countries.
“The current population of 209,000 Welsh residents will rise to around 300,000 by 2030. So this is a real public health issue that we need to address.
“Without the support of my colleagues, I could not have won this award or completed my master’s degree.” The opportunity to do the MSc in Diabetes Practice has given me better skills and knowledge that will benefit patients and colleagues. “
Carolyn’s work as a Diabetes Specialist Nurse includes helping primary care colleagues manage diabetes.
Diabetes is a complex long-term disease that increases cardiovascular risk and can affect people’s quality of life. Diabetes itself and its associated risk factors, including blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight, must be carefully managed.
By working together, diabetes specialists like Carolyn and colleagues in primary care are helping people manage their diabetes and reduce the health complications it causes.
Gill Harris, vice chairman of the board of directors and executive director of nursing and obstetrics, said, “Getting an MSc in addition to your professional responsibilities is no small feat, but being rewarded with excellence and receiving this award is testament to the great work that Carolyn does.
“Given the subject, it is a fitting tribute that Carolyn received this recognition nearly 100 years after the Frederick Banting Nobel Prize.
“It’s great for you, our patients, and a very proud moment for Betsi.”
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