We are delighted to welcome the New Year in with the announcement of the launch of TREND-UK – the Training, Research, and Education for Nurses in Diabetes group. Some of you may well be thinking “not another nursing group!” Well, let us put your minds at rest. This new organisation was developed in response to a couple of queries from the diabetes tsar, Dr Rowan Hillson, and NHS Diabetes. Their issues were that they did not know who to contact if they wanted an overall nursing view on any issue relating to diabetes care, and that there was no clear career pathway or qualifications in place for becoming a DSN.
As you are all aware, there already exists the Association of British Clinical Diabetologists, which represents clinical diabetologists, and the Primary Care Diabetes Society (PCDS), which represents healthcare professionals working in primary care. There are additional groups representing the many and varied roles of nurses working in diabetes care; however, in our opinion, they do not communicate sufficiently with one another to give a consistent nursing perspective in diabetes. As a result, in our view, the nursing perspective – be it that of the DSN, practice nurse, diabetes nurse facilitator, and so on – is a crucial one that currently is not being heard because there is no single focal point of contact or recognised lead.
Aims and objectives
The aim of TREND-UK is to act as an umbrella organisation to facilitate the bringing together of all the nursing groups involved in providing diabetes care and to project a collective voice to both statutory and voluntary groups. This organisation will not interfere with the work of any of the separate groups, who will all retain their individual identities, but will act as a conduit from which all the groups will be heard on important issues raised by organisations such as NHS Diabetes, NICE and Diabetes UK. Representatives from all of the groups under the TREND-UK umbrella have been fully involved in the formation of this organisation, and are already working on an important project together, which will be published in a future issue of the Journal of Diabetes Nursing.
With the above in mind, TREND-UK has been set up to fulfil the following aims:
- To examine, and provide clear definitions for, the current and future roles of nurses working in diabetes care.
- To revise and update the existing Integrated Career and Competency Framework for Diabetes Nursing (UK Association of DSNs and Royal College of Nursing, 2005).
- To create consensus documents to inform national bodies who are creating the structures within which nurses working in diabetes care are employed.
- To examine current training and education policies, and to explore the need for a recognised national qualification for DSNs.
- To provide commissioning bodies with clear information relating to the differing roles within diabetes nursing and the values of each role.
- To promote the enormous value of specialist nursing within diabetes care for people with the condition.
The need for durability
We are aware that, in the past, other nursing groups, organised by nurses for nurses, have found it difficult to create a sustainable life force over a long enough period to exhibit the amount of influence required to fulfil their ultimate aims. Time and financial pressures have often resulted in limited progression. For this reason, TREND-UK will follow the route of several other diabetes organisations, such as the PCDS, by enlisting the central support of SB Communications Group, publishers of journals and providers of events and other medical education activities within the diabetes world. This will allow the healthcare professionals to concentrate on the job of directing diabetes nursing without the hassle of worrying about the organisation and administration associated with such ventures.
We comprise the new organisation’s small committee of four Co-chairs who will work together to ensure the aims of the fledgling organisation are fulfilled.
We have had meetings with Dr Rowan Hillson, NHS Diabetes and Diabetes UK, who are fully supportive of this new organisation, and we look forward to working with them to ensure that nurses working in diabetes care have an equal voice in the future. We firmly believe that nurses do make a difference to people with diabetes and should have their say along with all the other professionals working in diabetes care.
TREND-UK recognises the value of the pharmaceutical industry and the part that it will play in further developing care for people with diabetes. We are grateful to the following companies who have pledged their support towards the work of TREND-UK: Abbott; Bayer; Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD); Home Diagnostics; Lifescan; Eli Lilly and Company; Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited (MSD); Novartis; Novo Nordisk; Roche Pharmaceuticals; Sanofi-Aventis; and Takeda.
We look forward to keeping you up-to-date with the work of TREND-UK via the LINK section of the journal. If you have any queries that you would like to put to the committee of TREND-UK, please do not hesitate to contact us at the journal.
Finally, we would like to wish all of you a Happy New Year.