Meet the judges

The panel of judges comprises recognised academics, clinicians, patient bloggers, nurses and commissioners working in diabetes. 

The judging chairs are Simon O’Neill, Director of Health Intelligence and Professional Liaison, Diabetes UK; Dr Paru King, Consultant Physician, Derby Hospitals and Dr Sheridan Waldron, Education Lead for Children and Young People with Diabetes, Children and Young People’s National Diabetes Network.

Simon qualified from St Thomas' Hospital, London as a registered nurse in 1989 and specialised in paediatrics at Guy’s Hospital in 1991. Following several years working in both general and renal paediatrics, he moved to Diabetes UK in 1995 as a nurse care adviser.

Twenty-one years later he is still there, although now as Director of Health Intelligence and Professional Liaison. As Director he is responsible for ensuring Diabetes UK produces accurate and up to date information and advice on all aspects of diabetes care, based on the latest evidence. Working closely with healthcare professional colleagues, he also advises on the charity’s policies and positions. He has had type 1 diabetes for 24 years.

Find out more about Diabetes UK

Paru has been a Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology in Derby since 2000.  Her clinical interests include diabetes and pregnancy and also integrated care. She is the physician lead for the diabetes and obstetrics service, and has clinically led and project managed the award winning PROCEED project, the first integrated model for preconception care.

She has been the clinical lead for integrated care in diabetes since 2011, and currently leads integrated diabetes services in Derby City using a model of care that has gained national recognition and is being promoted as an example of best practice by Diabetes UK. In 2014 she was appointed as a Diabetes UK local clinical.

She has been involved in a number of national projects with NHS Diabetes including the diabetes and pregnancy section of the diabetes commissioning toolkit, user involvement, and was on the Diabetes in Pregnancy network steering group.

Sheridan is a Specialist Diabetes Dietitian and has spent over 25 years working with children and young people with diabetes. She is currently working as the Education lead for the National Children and Young people's Diabetes Network. She is also involved in many activities to promote standards of care, education and research for children and young people with diabetes, their families and Health Care Professionals across the UK, EU and globally, such as the SWEET Project EU and ISPAD.

Marc Atkin has been a Consultant in Diabetes, Endocrinology and Internal Medicine in Bath, UK since 2012 having trained on the south coast of England. He is lead for a diabetes inpatient care team which was shortlisted for the HSJ Patient Safety Award in 2014. Marc is diabetic foot lead for the RUH and has taken part in a SW Peer Review team that has successfully reduced amputation rates across the South West. 

Marc is clinical lead for the development of an integrated diabetes care service which is now being extended to cover 3 CCGs in the SW of England. He was also part of the WEAHSN team that recently won the Diabetes Digital Coach bid to serve as a NHS England test bed.

His interests include service development, patient safety and innovation in service delivery. He is currently attending Haelo in Salford, undertaking training in Quality Improvement Science. He has previously served as Chair of Young Diabetologists Forum (YDEF) and is currently on the committee of Association of British Clinical Diabetologists (ABCD) and is part of their group working to improve T1 diabetes care in the UK.

As a band 6 rotational pharmacist at STH I encounter many patients from different backgrounds, many of whom have diabetes. The various complications relating to the disease (neuropathies, infections) mean that control of glycaemia is key to managing this 21st century epidemic. As research progresses and more therapies are introduced, better understanding of hypoglycaemic strategy in this patient group results in better outlook and quality of life for patients.

Andy graduated from the University of York in 2003 with a Master’s degree in Economics.  He is the current chair of the Sheffield Group of Diabetes UK and is involved in a number of local initiatives to help support those in his local community who live with diabetes. He has organised a number of patient-led events to help bring people with diabetes closer to their local healthcare team. He is the patient representative on his CCG’s Diabetes Executive Group which meets bi-monthly to review local diabetes services.

Andy also sits on Diabetes UK’s Council of People Living with Diabetes which acts as a sounding board for the charity’s trustees and senior staff. He writes a monthly blog for the charity on his experiences of living with Type 1 diabetes and acts as a service champion in his local area.

He has spoken at ACDC, YDEF and the 2016 Diabetes UK professional conference about what living with Type 1 diabetes is like, adding a patient voice to issues such as diabetes education. In addition to these voluntary roles Andy runs his own consultancy company. He has had Type 1 diabetes since 2002.

Thomas graduated from Kings College in 2003, with a degree in Economics, and then undertook a Masters in Psychology also at Kings. Upon leaving University Thomas worked at GMTV as a junior producer before moving into the pharmaceutical industry.

Thomas joined Sanofi in 2007 as a hospital specialist, and from there moved into an NHS market Access role focussing on Diabetes and Cardiovascular as therapy areas.

In 2010 Thomas moved into the Marketing team to work on Sanofi’s insulin portfolio moving into a Brand Manager position in 2012. His role now encompasses professional relations with regard to strategic advocacy development and bespoke NHS partnership projects.

Thomas lives in Guildford, and when not at work can be found cycling the Surrey Hills.

Partner, Crown Dale Medical Centre

Clinical Lead, Lambeth Diabetes Intermediate Care Team

Director South East Lambeth Health Partnership (SELHP)

Interim Chair, South East Lambeth Local Care Network

Mark has been a GP in Lambeth for more than 20 years. His training in diabetes was undertaken at Guys and St Thomas’s and he was awarded a postgraduate Dpdiploma in diabetes care in 2009. He is Clinical Lead of the Lambeth Diabetes Intermediate Care Team. In 2013 became a member of the London Diabetes Strategic Network leading on the “management of care” work stream. 

Anne Claydon is Nurse Consultant at Barts Health, which consists of The Royal London, St Bartholomew’s, Newham and Whips Cross hospitals. She is also a Lecturer Practitioner at City University, where she runs the diabetes care modules.

Anne is a committee member of the Diabetes Inpatient Specialist Nurse Group and a member of the National Diabetes Inpatient Audit group. She is also a member of the National Diabetes Partnership Board. Anne has participated in the writing of the JBDS guidelines for HHS and DKA.

Anne Claydon is particularly interested in diabetes inpatient care, and educating staff to provide better care for people with diabetes whilst they are in hospital.

Debbie Cook is a Nurse Consultant in diabetes and obesity. She was Vice Chair of the National Obesity Forum from 2006 – 2016 and is now a National Diabetes Clinical Champion for DUK. She also works across two trusts in North East London as a diabetes nurse specialist and is also involved with the local CCGs, working on the obesity and diabetes local strategies. She works as a Nurse Consultant in Harley Street at the Centre for Health and Human Performance with Professor Greg Whyte and Professor David Haslam.  Debbie also works with the Diabetes Think Tank, the APPG for diabetes, calling for government action on diabetes. She has written two books and has published several articles on diabetes and obesity and has now completed an MSC in diabetes at Leicester University.

Anne has Type 1 Diabetes, diagnosed in 1979.  She is a nurse and has a special interest in using information and technology but also, more recently, Anne has developed an interest in social media/digital networks and as a result actively participates in both nursing and patient communities. Anne has published about the importance of peer support for people with Diabetes and strongly advocates for patient partnership in health systems.

Voted #SocialPioneer by the Nursing Times and Health Service Journal and was also on the HSJ list of inspirational women in health in 2014


Kate qualified from Barts, London in 1996. Working part-time as a registrar gave Kate the opportunity to broaden her interests by taking up a two year part time secondment for NHS Diabetes in 2008 whilst also joining the Think Glucose team at the NHS Institute in Warwick. These experiences ignited a passion for service improvement and it was a natural move for Kate to take up a lead consultant post for the new West Hampshire Community Diabetes Service (WHCDS), launched in April 2010.

Patient empowerment has been at the heart of Kate’s strategy for developing an intermediate community service which has relocated type 1 and type 2 diabetes care into the community and is supported by a portfolio of education for patients and healthcare professionals alike. Patient engagement has been vital to the success of the service.

As a team, the community diabetes service has invested heavily in leadership development, leading to successful nominations at the 2013 Quality in Care Awards and HSJ Care Integration Awards. The team were shortlisted for both leadership and diabetes team categories at the BMJ awards 2014. In 2015 the WHCDS was one of the first community diabetes services to be successfully recommissioned. 

This year Kate was privileged to be asked to deliver the Mary MacKinnon lecture at Diabetes UK annual professional conference. Kate took this opportunity to encourage healthcare professionals to be bold in designing services that meet the needs of their community.

Paul Grant is currently a Consultant Physician specialising in Diabetes and Endocrinology. At Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism he undertakes general and specialist diabetes work including ante-natal, complex type 1 and type 2 diabetes and is the clinical lead for audit at OCDEM. He has an interest in service development, clinical leadership and patient safety and has previously undertaken a Master’s degree in Healthcare Management at Brighton Business School.

In addition, he is an ABCD committee member, is the new consultants representative on the RCP joint specialities committee, a former YDEF member and is the new Editor-in-Chief of the British Journal of Diabetes. His first book for patients ‘The Gestational Diabetes Survival Guide’ is due to be published in October 2016.

Dr. Roselle Herring is a Consultant Physician in Diabetes and Endocrinology at Royal Surrey County Hospital. Her research interest involves using metabolic isotope technology to study glucose metabolism. She completed her MD at the University of Surrey. 

Roselle also has a keen interest in medical education, having developed and led in partnership with Lilly UK the nationally available 'Admission to Discharge' Inpatient Diabetes Education Tool for healthcare professionals. She was a member of the YDEF committee for 4 years and has played a leading role in the development of a number of training courses for specialist trainees in diabetes in the UK, many of which are now recommended components of the national training curriculum. 

Roselle has delivered invited talks at national conferences including Diabetes UK Professional Conference and the Royal Colleges of Physicians. She has also advanced the work on medical ward rounds having published widely and contributed to the development of Joint RCN / RCP guidance on best practice on ward rounds.

Sallianne Kavanagh is the lead clinical pharmacist for diabetes and endocrinology at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHSFT. She co-chairs the UKCPA Diabetes and Endocrinology group. At Sheffield she takes a leading role in service improvement projects for people with diabetes, with a special interest in self-administration of insulin and safety initiatives. A key aspect of her role, within the trust, region and nationally is developing and delivering education for healthcare professions. 

At a national level she represents the Royal Pharmaceutical Society at the parliamentary think tank to raise awareness of the role pharmacists can play in supporting people with diabetes. 

She has recently been appointed as a Health Education England Leadership fellow for safer diabetes medication and hopes this opportunity will support and expand her interest in the role of education in reducing diabetes medication related errors.

Philip Newland-Jones is an Advanced Specialist Pharmacist Practitioner in Diabetes and Endocrinology and has worked at University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust since 2008. He is a current committee member of the UKCPA Diabetes and Endocrinology Group and Chairs the regional Diabetic subgroup of the District Prescribing Committee. At Southampton he takes a leading role in the trusts patient improvement framework for diabetes with numerous patient safety projects previously undertaken and ongoing.

At a national level he is the lead pharmacist for NHS England Diabetes Clinical Reference Group, is a member of the Diabetes UK professional council and sits on the diabetes parliamentary think tank. He is also an editorial board member of “Diabetes in Primary Care” and is a specialist advisor to the CQC for diabetes in secondary and intermediate care services.

He has a key role with pharmaceutical input into the direction of inpatient diabetes care at University Hospital Southampton and works in a specialist practitioner role on a day to day basis reviewing inpatients with diabetes issues. His dedication to education ensures the rest of his time is taken up educating doctors, nurses, allied healthcare professionals and students within secondary care, primary care and university settings. 

Dr Munachiso Nwokolo is a Clinical Research Fellow at King’s College Hospital and Chair of the Young Diabetologists and Endocrinologists Forum, a specialist trainee group that promotes education, communication and representation for junior doctors. She graduated from University College London medical school in 2008 and completed a BSc in Human Genetics. Her diabetes and endocrinology registrar training commenced in the North Central London Deanery. Currently she is undertaking a PhD supervised by Dr Pratik Choudhary and Professor Stephanie Amiel in the Division of Diabetes and Nutritional Sciences, King’s College London.

Muna’s research interests include hypoglycaemia, diabetes technology and neuroimaging.  Her PhD focusses on the effects of acute hypoglycaemia on the brain particularly in those who have lost awareness of their hypoglycaemia symptoms.

A member of Diabetes UK, ABCD and the BMA multi-specialty working group Muna is keen to encourage sharing of high quality innovation with the ultimate aim of improving patient care.

Dr Mayank Patel has worked as a Consultant Physician in Diabetes and Acute Medicine at University Hospital Southampton since 2008. He completed his specialist clinical training in Wessex.

Since starting as a Consultant, he has overhauled and developed the trust's adult inpatient diabetes service and worked with commissioners to bring new adult insulin pump and diabetic foot services to the trust.

He co-developed ‘DiAppbetes’, a smartphone application to help healthcare professionals managing hospital inpatients with diabetes. He also contributes to medical undergraduate and postgraduate diabetes training, as well as regularly delivering diabetes teaching sessions to patients, public and other healthcare professionals in primary and secondary care.

In 2015, he was awarded the QiC Outstanding Educator in Diabetes award.

Becky graduated from Salford University in 1994 with an Economics degree and then undertook her Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma at Nottingham Business School. She joined AstraZeneca as a medical representative selling within CV and respiratory and spent a further nine years there in a number of roles including sales, management and training.

Joining Aventis as a hospital specialist to launch and sell Lantus followed a 6 month stint at Pharmaceutical Field, the publication for the industry, as an events co-ordinator. During her time at Aventis (now Sanofi) Becky has experienced a number of commercial and medical roles, providing valuable experience and forging a number of relationships across the company, the industry and amongst the NHS.

These roles include time in sales, a Diabetes Scientific Advisor - where she was responsible for a number of projects including a publications committee for the Warwick Diabetes Care Insulin for Life programme which delivered a number of peer reviewed publications, and between 2006 and 2010 Becky managed the diabetes and cardiovascular scientific advisor medical team.

In January 2011 Becky became the Head of Professional Relations for Sanofi Diabetes, a role which has enabled Sanofi to support programmes such as QiC Diabetes, free apps for children with diabetes such as Monster Manor and Mission T1D and enable Becky to become a “font of all knowledge” for the diabetes world on social media.  In 2016 this role was extended to include  Cardiovascular Disease. 

Michelle Stafford is a Diabetes Specialist Podiatrist specialising in diabetes and vascular wound care.  She trained at Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh, where she developed her interest in diabetes and wound care, after placements in the Diabetic Foot Clinic, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.  She currently leads the Diabetic Foot Clinic at Epsom Hospital. Previously she has worked as a Diabetes Specialist Podiatrist and Diabetes Podiatry Manager in East Kent.  She also was seconded to the role of Diabetes Network Manager for East Kent in 2006/7, where her role was to implement the Diabetes NSF.

Tarja started her career in fast-consumer goods working for PepsiCo in Finland, but very soon moved to the pharmaceutical industry where she has now worked for almost 20 years. She joined Astra Zeneca in 1996 where she held different responsibilities across marketing, sales and R&D with national and global scope. In 2002, she was appointed a Member of the Senior Management Team at Pfizer Finland as Sales and Marketing Director in a broad variety of areas – from CV, Urology, Pain, oncology, HIV and neuroscience. In 2007 she went back to Astra Zeneca as Marketing Excellence Director within their International Sales and Marketing Organization (ISMO) based in Brussels. In this role, she worked closely with senior management across key markets in Europe, Asia and South America. In 2010 she moved on to take a role as a Specialist Care Director and as member of the Senior Management Team in the UK affiliate. In this role, she worked very closely with the customer facing organization as well as health care professionals and payers, gaining a good understanding of the NHS and UK healthcare environment and its challenges.

In July 2012, Tarja was appointed Country President for Astra Zeneca Belgium and Luxembourg, based in Brussels. She was also a board member of local trade association and played active role in the work of creating headroom for innovation in the healthcare budget and promoting Belgium as a biopharma hub.

Tarja joined Sanofi as General Manager, UK & Ireland, in October 2014. In addition to leading Sanofi Pharmaceutical Operations in the UK, she also the chairs the Country Strategic Management Committee which connects all the Sanofi operations in the UK (Pharma, Genzyme, Merial, Sanofi Pasteur and Manufacturing). Tarja is on the board of the ABPI (Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry) and a member of the European Medicines Group (EMG).

Tarja holds a degree in Economics from the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration in Helsinki (Finland) and an MBA from the University of South Carolina (USA).

Tarja is married with a boy aged 7. In her free time, Tarja enjoys doing sports; running, tennis, biking, skiing and scuba diving.

Bob was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in May 2013, and manages the condition with diet, exercise and oral medication. He is a keen runner, occasional cyclist and when not travelling for work can be found at Oak Hill parkrun at 9 o’clock on Saturday morning. He is an active member of the #GBDOC online community promoting peer support and more active lifestyles for people with diabetes. He tweets as @fractis

Kev Winchcombe is an IT geek during the week and enjoys cycling, surfing and travelling when time allows, but above everything he is proud to call himself a Diabetes Dad. His daughter Amy was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 10 and since then Kev has launched into learning lots about Type 1 Diabetes with the sole purpose to help Amy live a normal life, especially throughout the teenage years.

He is an active member of the Diabetes Online Community both on Twitter and on Facebook, has been a peer supporter for Diabetes UK and is a peer supporter with last year's QIC finalists Sugarbuddies. Through his cycling Kev has raised thousands of pounds for JDRF and INPUT by cycling to Paris and in the Prudential Ride London Surrey 100.

In January 2015 Kev became very involved with the DIY medical tech solution called Nightscout when he was one of the first in the UK to build an xDrip wireless bridge device. Since then Kev, his daughter and colleagues from the Nightscout UK support term have gone on to give many presentations to Doctors, Professors, HCPs, JDRF, Diabetes UK and national conferences and education days.

Kev blogs about Type 1 Diabetes at

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