I am grateful to the people who have written to the journal with their important and timely contributions. Much of the content of the letters reflects my own views in the debate, ‘Are there too many groups attempting to represent the needs of nurses?’ In many ways, it is also similar to viewpoints published in the Journal of Diabetes Nursing way back in 1997 (Vol 1, No 2, p. 36: The need for a new association for DSNs and Why we should stand by the RCN Diabetes Nursing Forum). At that time I was surprised at the lack of response from DSNs to either sentiment. Three years on, this is, I am told, the largest postbag on any single issue!
On a personal note, I am saddened by the fact that in two of the letters the ideas of self-promotion and power seeking come through. This has certainly made me stop and think, and I’ve found that these motives are not big drivers for me. However, I am sorry if anyone has gained this impression, and assure them that I can think of easier ways to fame and fortune!
Despite the valid comments made by these correspondents, in retrospect I believe that this debate was necessary to move things forward. As Sara also says in her response, since the debate we have been able to have a very useful meeting (at the BDA Professional Sections conference in Brighton) which has resulted in us agreeing to make our collaboration much more explicit. For example, we are going to share some of the relevant outcomes from our respective committee meetings on a regular basis, and apply jointly for funding for relevant activities as needed. I do not think this level of sharing would have been possible before the debate.
A final, rather philosophical point: do remember that conflict is not necessarily a bad thing. In order for things to change, whether in the individual achievement of better diabetes control, or in the activities of services or groups, you have to feel more strongly about changing the current situation than you do about it staying the same. The expression of strong feelings in these letters and during the debate (and no doubt elsewhere) has facilitated change to the present, more positive situation.
Comment on a notable recent paper. Trends in the incidence of hospitalisation for diabetic foot disease.
10 Mar 2023