The last year has been a good year for the RCN Diabetes Forum. Membership from within the RCN continues to flourish (over 6500 nurses members have elected to join through the RCN) and it is good to see that nurses remain committed to keeping up to date with diabetes knowledge and skills. New web-based resources are planned for 2008 which will make it even easier to get the latest evidence base in diabetes.

The committee welcomed new members and now has representation from diabetes nurse consultants, diabetes specialist nurses, diabetes nurse education and primary care. This strong committee enabled two very successful study days in June and October. The first day focused on the acute complications of diabetes and was attended by ward nurses and community nurses in particular. The second day looked at chronic complications. Attendees were from a variety of nursing backgrounds. Both days saw attendances of over 110 people. Evaluation was positive, with delegates taking home messages about providing the best possible care for people with diabetes.

Other work has been to provide diabetes nursing input into National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines and the production of ‘ Diabites’. This newsletter is sent to all members and provides a useful exchange of ideas and current issues in diabetes nursing.

While 2007 has been a generally positive year, the Forum committee has also been involved in the RCN campaign to highlight the threats to diabetes specialist nursing and, while posts are downgraded and frozen, the fight continues. The coming year presents a challenge more than ever to demonstrate the value of specialist nurses.

Report by Gayle Richards, Committee Member, RCN Diabetes Forum

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