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PCDS Committee election candidate biographies

Voting for available positions on the PCDS Committee is scheduled to take place at the 11th National PCDS Conference, in Birmingham on 5–6 November. Candidates’ biographies are presented below. Single asterisks [*] denote current Committee members standing for re-election, while double asterisks [**] denote current co-opted Committee members.

Nigel Campbell*
Nigel Campbell has been a GP in Lisburn since 1995. His interest in diabetes began when he was asked to carry out an audit of the people with diabetes in his new practice that same year. After completing a Bradford Diploma, he began working as a hospital practitioner in diabetes, first in the Ulster Hospital, Dundonald, and then his local hospital, Lagan Valley. There he managed the clinic for a period when there was no consultant cover.

Nigel also has an interest in management and healthcare commissioning; he was chairman of a prescribing committee for a period, then a member of a local commissioning group (LCG). In 2009, he was appointed Chairman of South Eastern LCG, one of five LCGs in Northern Ireland, and was responsible for commissioning health and social care for 330000 patients. During this time he helped in the establishment of a province-wide pump service, the commissioning of a more robust paediatric service and the roll-out of education for people with type 2 diabetes, as well those with type 1 diabetes. His tenure in this position ended in April 2015.

Nigel, along with Colin Kenny, helped organise the All-Ireland PCDS meetings until conferences were organised both sides of the border. He chairs the Northern Ireland committee and they have just had their 5th Annual Conference, with an excellent attendance and great feedback. Nigel is passionate about good care for his patients and enjoys his role in Northern Ireland and on the wider stage.

Kevin Fernando
Kevin is a six-session GP Partner working at the coalface in North Berwick Health Centre. He is Diabetes Lead GP for the East Lothian and Midlothian Community Health Partnerships, which comprises 29 GP surgeries. He has recently been appointed a Diabetes UK Clinical Champion.

Kevin graduated from Edinburgh University in 2000 and holds both MRCGP and MRCP affiliations. He has completed a Master’s degree in Diabetes, passed with distinction. During 2014, he was elected to Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh for his work in diabetes professional education. He also works as a GP Presenter for NB Medical Education on their popular “Hot Topics” GP Update courses, run throughout the UK and abroad.

Kevin will bring to the PCDS Committee comprehensive diabetes and medical education experience, and his role within Diabetes UK will help forge the relationship between this organisation and the PCDS, which ultimately will benefit the lives of people with diabetes.

Martin Hadley-Brown*
Martin was one of the founder members of the PCDS and then its Chair from 2005 to 2012. “It has been hugely exciting seeing the Society grow and thrive through such challenging times for all of us who work for people with diabetes and those around them,” he recently reflected. “Our aim throughout has been to improve the quality of advice, support and care offered by professionals in primary care principally through providing and supporting educational resources, but also by building advocacy and influence. I believe that we are achieving successes, and I would ask you for the opportunity to continue working with this committee. There is so much more to do.”

Martin is a six-session GP Partner in Norfolk, also with contracts in the University of Cambridge Clinical School, where he is heavily involved in teaching, principally on the Graduate Entry Course. He also works with GP Trainees in the practice and undertakes multi-professional training work in the Eastern region. The PCDS unites his interests in diabetes, medicine, education and training, and he hopes that he can continue to offer his energy there.

He was a member of the NICE type 2 diabetes guidelines group for the 2008–10 publications, and he continues as a Clinical Adviser to the Royal College of General Practitioners. He also represents the PCDS within the “General Assembly” of Primary Care Diabetes Europe, where the PCDS is the largest national group.

Clare Hambling
Clare is a GP whose involvement in diabetes extends across East Anglia. She is Chair of the West Norfolk Diabetes Network, a GP programme board member for the East Anglia Diabetic Eye Screening Service, and a member of the Eastern Academic Health Science Network’s Diabetes Projects Group, giving a primary care perspective on service development, including an East Anglia-wide integrated “hypo pathway”.

Her own locality-wide project aimed at reducing overtreatment and severe hypoglycaemia in older people was recently awarded the Royal College of General Practitioners’ East Anglia Quality Improvement Award.

Clare has extensive experience in education for healthcare professionals, including as a Senior GP Tutor for the University of Cambridge, and she is a Clinical Adviser to the Royal College of General Practitioners.

“As a GP with a passionate interest in diabetes, education and evidence-based practice,” Clare commented, “I believe I have experience which would be an asset as a committee member and would relish the opportunity to contribute to the outstanding work that the PCDS carries out in promoting quality education for healthcare professionals and striving for the highest standards of care in diabetes.”

Lesley Hamilton**
Lesley has worked as a Diabetes Dietitian in the NHS for 22 years. She is based in the Western Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland and was Team Lead for a multi-professional Community Diabetes Support Team before taking up her current role as Diabetes Network Manager for the Trust in 2011.

Lesley has a keen interest in patient and staff education and continues to have a clinical input into diabetes clinics and structured patient education programmes, as well as updates for type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and diabetes prevention.

She is a member of Northern Ireland’s Diabetes Steering Group and has been a Committee member of the PCDS regional group for Northern Ireland for 4 years. Lesley has presented at competency-based diabetes training events for dietitians in Northern Ireland for 10 years and has recently been involved with the project team for the Northern Irish Diabetes Eye Screening Programme. She has developed sound multidisciplinary links in her role and strongly believes that good diabetes care is based on the “jigsaw” of multidisciplinary working.

This year Lesley was delighted to become one of the Diabetes UK Clinical Champions and is looking forward to continuing to develop, and deliver, the regional Integrated Care Pathways in Diabetes. She would value the opportunity to continue to work with the PCDS, both locally and nationally, to support the needs of the multidisciplinary team.

Jim McMorran**
Jim is a Coventry-based GP who has a specialist interest in diabetes and lipids. Since 2004 he has been undertaking a GPSI role in Coventry (now Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group), where he has managed diabetes and lipid problems in an intermediate care clinic receiving referrals from local GPs and nurses. This clinic is a “problem”-based clinic where patients are reviewed regarding a diabetes or lipid problem and the problem is then addressed and the patients repatriated to primary care.

Jim is also the co-creator and Editor in Chief of GPnotebook (, which is currently ranked as the most used reference resource by UK GPs in the consultation. This role means that he has to keep up to date with changes in clinical knowledge relevant to primary care and also write about (or edit) these changes in a form relevant to primary care. The production and development of GPnotebook is an onerous task for Jim, but also one which he (and the other authors) are very proud of.

In the last 12 months, Jim has also been appointed as GP Clinical Lead for community services for his Clinical Commissioning Group and also as a GP Adviser to the UK National Screening Committees.

Outside his clinical work, Jim enjoys time with his family and is also an active sportsman, having competed at county and regional level at athletics and cross-country as a child and then achieving an Oxford Full Blue at university. He now enjoys playing sport with his children, as well as running and doing indoor gym competitions (for X-Training, see

Julie Widdowson*
Julie Widdowson is a Diabetes Educator/Practitioner in West Norfolk and for the last 15 years has run a community-based service covering her local Clinical Commissioning Group. She is the Network Manager and also the Service Lead for Norfolk Community Health and Care, supporting and educating all staff employed within this organisation, which includes community nurses, therapists and 13 community hospitals.

Julie is a current Committee member of the PCDS, and she recently commented: “I would like to continue to serve on the PCDS and continue to work with fellow members to develop further e-learning modules following the success of the insulin safety module. There is a need for education for health care assistants working in all areas, and especially care homes, and this would be my next focus. I would continue to support this work both locally and nationally.”

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