Mould nurse wins educational award for work on Diabetes

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A FLINTSHIRE nurse won an academic award for her work to evaluate how service improvements can have a positive impact on patient care.

Diabetes Nurse Carolyn Thelwell is the 2020 Frederick Banting Award winner from Swansea University.

The award recognizes outstanding training and research as part of the course at the end of a course.

Carolyn from Mold works in the community and in hospitals in the Rhyl area helping 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 said, “I love my job, I think diabetes is a really interesting topic. I love helping people with diabetes find answers and giving them the skills to manage themselves.”

“Patient empowerment and support 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.”

She added, “Without the support of my colleagues, I could not have won this award or completed my Masters.

“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 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 Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board, said, “Getting an MSc in addition to your work commitments is no small feat, but being rewarded with excellence and receiving this award is testament to the great work that we are doing Carolyn has done.

“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.”