Diabetes nurse nominated for top award

 

Elaine Harkins has been nominated for the Diabetes Healthcare Professional of the Year.

By Lucy Ashton

A senior diabetes nurse specialist at Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH) has been shortlisted for the Quality in Care (QiC) Awards this year.

Elaine Harkins has been nominated for the Diabetes Healthcare Professional of the Year for her outstanding work within the hospital, where she has looked after diabetes patients for more than 16 years.

The award recognises diabetes healthcare professionals based in the UK or Ireland who have succeeded in raising standards of care over and above their day to day role.

As a Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating (DAFNE) educator, Elaine plays a key role in helping patients understand and manage type 1 (T1) diabetes, providing them with the skills necessary to estimate carbohydrate levels in meals and to inject the correct dose of insulin.

Based in the Diabetes Centre in outpatient department within the RAH, Elaine also advises on T2, gestational care and education throughout Renfrewshire and Clyde, both in acute and in the community settings alongside NHSGGC’s specialist integrated team.

Over her career Elaine has helped hundreds of patients to live healthy happy lives with their condition and currently leads the hospital’s main diabetes clinic each week.

Latterly, Elaine has been delivering clinics digitally due to COVID-19, but has been able to keep in regular contact with patients to help them manage their conditions at home.

Elaine said: “I was somewhat surprised but also honoured to be nominated for this Award.   Working in Diabetes is extremely complex and with the recent challenges of COVID19 this has increased the difficulty in communicating with both our patients and staff.

“I am, however, confident the service we have provided has continued to reassure our patients, prevent hospital admissions and keep the service running as efficiently as we always do.  I’d like to thank the team for their continued support and their hard work over the course of the pandemic.

Now in its tenth year, QiC Diabetes recognises, rewards and shares innovative practice demonstrating quality in diabetes management, education and services for people with diabetes and/or their families. The final judging will take place this week, ahead of a virtual awards ceremony on Thursday 15th October.

Shirley Stratton, Lead for Integrated Diabetes Service Renfrewshire and Clyde, said:

“It’s fantastic to see Elaine recognised for her huge contribution over the years. The patients have benefited significantly from her experience and quality of care and she has helped set an example to many staff over the years. We wish her the best of luck in the awards.”

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