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Fiona Campbell awarded an OBE for services to paediatric diabetes

Sheridan Waldron, Margot Carson
Colleagues pay tribute to Dr Fiona Campbell, former Co-Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Care for Children & Young People, who has been appointed to the Order of the British Empire.

It gives us great pleasure to celebrate not only 10 years of Diabetes Care for Children and Young People, but also the award of an OBE for our previous co-editor-in-chief, Fiona Campbell. Alongside Fiona’s world-class Children and Young People’s Diabetes Service at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, she has devoted her career to ensure that children and young people (CYP) with diabetes and their families have access to the best care, improved outcomes and complication-free lives. The overwhelming good wishes from CYP, parents, her clinical team, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, CYP National Network members and international colleagues demonstrates the high esteem in which Fiona is held. 

Development of clinical networks

Communication, networking and strategic planning have been essential to Fiona’s career at local, national and international levels. Taking up the Clinical Lead of the National CYP Diabetes Network in 2009 fostered the development of 11 managed clinical networks that covered all 173 units across England and Wales. Fiona established her network of all key diabetes stakeholders, NHS policy makers and national organisations involved in paediatric diabetes delivery of care. 

Fiona’s aim was to instigate key changes to improve diabetes outcomes: a Best Practice Tariff; a Peer Review Programme; CYP Diabetes Delivery Plans; National Paediatric Diabetes Audit (NPDA); Self-Assessment Quality Assurance Programmes; internal and external peer reviews of Quality Standards; a National Quality Improvement Programme; self-management programmes for CYP and families, all of these programmes played key roles. The networks and diabetes teams have worked extremely hard to make significant changes and Fiona has always been close at hand to encourage and support teams in their evolution of change.

Changes made since the start of the national network has resulted in continued year-on-year improvements in HbA1c outcome measures, a major successful achievement under Fiona’s leadership. Fiona was recognised by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health by receiving an Honorary Fellowship in 2021.

Leadership and sharing good practice

Networking is a key element of sharing good practice and Fiona is actively involved in both national and two important international forums. She has held various roles within the British Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes and is also a member of Diabetes UK’s Council of Healthcare Professionals.

The Leeds Children and Young People’s Diabetes Service is part of the SWEET Project, a growing global network of certified diabetes centres aiming to improve quality of, and reduce inequalities in, CYP’s diabetes care. The International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes is the recognised scientific society for paediatric diabetes and membership plays a key role in maintaining the highest standards of care across the world.

Innovations in technology

Fiona’s leadership, drive and passion for improvement has placed data, technology and research at the forefront for innovation. The NPDA has been pivotal in providing the data to monitor change, new technology in monitoring and delivery of insulin has revolutionised care delivery and Fiona’s service in Leeds is a centre for the international closed-loop research project. Evaluating and implementing new technology will provide further tools to improve diabetes clinical outcomes. 

It has been a privilege to work with Fiona and to witness her outstanding inspirational style of leadership, as well as her tireless energy to improve the lives and outcomes of CYP with diabetes and their families. Congratulations again, Fiona and thank you to all the people who have supported the journal over past 10 years.

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