The excellence of those working in diabetes care was celebrated at last week’s annual Quality in Care Diabetes awards, held at Sanofi UK’s new head office in Reading.

The programme recognised the best initiatives and professionals leading practice in diabetes management, education and patient care across the UK. A Quality in Care award means that an initiative is recognised by the NHS, patients and industry as improving the quality of life for people living with diabetes.

“QiC Diabetes provides a great opportunity to celebrate, and learn from, new ways of working to drive up quality of care. I’m impressed and inspired by the class and breadth of the award winners and finalists,” said Professor Jonathan Valabhji, national clinical director for obesity and diabetes, NHS England.

The awards ceremony opened with a talk from keynote speaker Dr Sam Rice, Consultant Physician and Endocrinology, on empowerment for people living with diabetes. Dr Rice went on to win a surprise NHS Wales Outstanding Contribution Award for Services in Diabetes, for developing a research and innovations portfolio focused on patient support on education.

Another recipient of an award for excellence was Dr Lalantha Leelarathna, who won the NHS England Outstanding Contribution Award for Services in Diabetes for his work to improve diabetes care and research in diabetes technology.

The People’s Award, supported by Diabetes UK, recognises an individual who has supported or cared for people with diabetes in 2018. Winning this special award was Stefan Haest, a champion for peer support who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 11. Since then, he has been committed to helping other children and young people with the condition.

“Diabetes UK is once again delighted to collaborate on these important awards. They highlight and promote the exciting and innovative approaches that are being implemented around the UK to improve the care of people with diabetes,” said Simon O’Neill, director of health intelligence and professional liaison at Diabetes UK.

The awards also celebrated the hard work of NHS teams working to promote hypo awareness, with the Hypo Awareness Week 2019 Excellence Award. The winner of this coveted award was Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Elsewhere, North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust won the Insulin Safety Week 2019 Excellence Award, demonstrating their hard work and dedication to improving safety in diabetes care.

Winning the coveted Diabetes Team of the Year award was West Green Surgery, for its Personalised SMS Care Plan for Diabetes.

The judges commented: “West Green Surgery has demonstrated a very impressive project which brought together a multidisciplinary team with patients. This programme took the familiar SMS notification concept and turned it into a highly innovative and impactful service, resulting in significantly lower levels of DNAs, as well as improvements in Hba1c and blood pressure.”

For the full list of winners, see QIC Diabetes 2019 results.