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 Alison Barnes, Research Associate (dietitian) / Diabetes Specialist Dietitian at Newcastle University/Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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.

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 service for preconception care.

In 2018, her team was selected as one of 20 quality improvements sites, to further improve preconception care.  She started the National Diabetes and Pregnancy Conference, and has supported its growth into a major annual conference.  In addition, she has been the clinical lead for integrated care in Derby City since 2011, and Derby’s service model has gained national recognition.

Since 2017, Paru has led the spread of this innovation from Derby City to the whole of Southern Derbyshire.  She was one of the first Diabetes UK Clinical Champions, and the role has helped her achieve service development locally as well as given her the opportunity to be involved in her areas of interest at a national level.

Alison Barnes is a UK Registered Dietitian specialising in diabetes and weight management. She has a first class undergraduate degree in Human Nutrition from Northumbria University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Dietetics from Leeds Metropolitan University.

Alison is a Research Dietitian currently working with Professor Roy Taylor at Newcastle University on the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT), training practice nurses to deliver a complex weight management intervention in a primary care setting. She has an honorary contract as a diabetes dietitian with Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust and has previously worked as an NHS specialist diabetes dietitian for Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust, providing regular clinics in primary care and specialist clinics and group education in secondary care. She has also worked on group weight management programmes for both adults and families in community settings.

As a dietitian with Type 1 Diabetes, Alison has an insight into the kinds of challenges faced by people living with long-term conditions, and is committed to an approach which empowers patients to better manage their own health. Alison was selected as one of the Diabetes UK Clinical Champions for 2016-18 and is working on a project to produce a dietary decision aid for type 2 diabetes in order to facilitate more effective discussions about diet and weight between healthcare professionals and people living with diabetes.

Alison can be contacted at

Dr Carlo Acerini is a Senior University Lecturer in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Cambridge and also Consultant Paediatric Endocrinologist at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge. He is current chair of East of England Children & Young People’s Diabetes network. He also has various other roles within paediatric diabetology both nationally and internationally, and is actively involved in clinical research.

Marc 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. Marc is chair of NHS England’s SW Cardiovascular Clinical Network.

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.

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.

Ben is a project director at the King’s Fund where he leads research and advisory projects on the regulation of health services, commissioning, development of new care models and systems and innovation. His recent research has focused on the characteristics of high performing integrated health systems and successful adoption and spread of service innovation in the NHS. In previous roles, he worked in the national NHS bodies and management consulting. He has a background in business strategy and industrial economics.

Dr Pash Dhindsa has been a diabetes dietitian since 1988. She started her diabetes career in Nottingham as a research dietitian. She has been working as a diabetes dietitian in Derby for the last 20 years. During this time, as well as a clinical role, she has taught on the Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics and Graduate Entry Medicine courses at Nottingham University. This interest in education has continued with patients. She is a DAFNE educator and has helped develop a pre-insulin education course for people with Type 2 diabetes.

She has a special interest in the management of obesity in diabetes and completed her research thesis on the role of very low calorie diets in obese patients with type 2 diabetes.

Dr Tunde Falode is General Manager for the Diabetes and Cardiovascular Business Unit in the UK and Ireland at Sanofi, a global pharmaceutical company. Following graduation from the University of Jos Medical School in Nigeria, he secured a basic surgical training post through Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals in  London, eventually specializing in  cardiac and thoracic surgery, before changing his career path and joining Sanofi as a medical advisor in 2008. In addition to his current role at Sanofi, he recently completed his specialist training in pharmaceutical medicine and has a keen interest in sports.

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 received 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 West Hampshire Community Diabetes Service was one of the first community diabetes services to be successfully recommissioned. This year, 2018, the West Hampshire team has been shortlisted by the HSJ awards for Improving Value in Diabetes for their work centred on parity of esteem and equitable access to diabetes care.

Dr Gardner has been a consultant paediatrician at the Royal Blackburn Hospital since 2011 where he is clinical director for general paediatrics and clinical lead for children and young people’s diabetes. He is also the chair of the North West children and young people’s diabetes network. Chris trained in the northwest region and completed higher specialist training in diabetes and endocrinology at Alder Hey Childrens Hospital. He completed his research degree in adult diabetes and endocrinology, and has a strong interest in transition. He is a member of ACDC and BSPED.

"Jason" is currently the treasurer for YDEF.  His clinical interest focuses on inpatient diabetes and endocrinology care, and the models in delivering this healthcare service.  His academic interests include diabetes in severe complex obesity and its surgical management, having devoted time in this rapidly growing specialist field as a NIHR academic clinical fellow. He is also a passionate advocate of NHS workforce well-being, co-founder of national online peer support network for NHS staff, and regularly work with stakeholders regarding workplace supports for doctors and nurses. Ensuring well-balanced clinical, academic, and supportive mentoring opportunities for specialist trainees remains his priority as a YDEF committee member.

Dr Roselle Herring is a Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology at the Royal Surrey County Hospital. Her research interest involves using metabolic isotope technology to study glucose and lipid metabolism. She has published work on the hepato-selective insulin detemir and secured research funding to study the mechanistic effect of SGLT2 inhibitors.

Dr Herring also has a keen interest in healthcare education, having developed in partnership with Lilly UK the nationally available “Admission to Discharge’ healthcare professional education tool. She has delivered invited talks at national conferences including Diabetes UK Professional Conference and the Royal College of Physicians.

Adele Holcombe Specialist Diabetes Dietitian / Practitioner working for North East Essex Diabetes Service since 2012. Qualified as a Registered Dietitian in 2007 from the University of Surrey, gained a broad experience in all areas of dietetics, mainly oncology, stroke and artificial nutrition support; however following an interest in public health and obesity moved into diabetes in 2010.

Clinical interests include diabetes in young people/ transition, improving access to new technologies/ virtual clinics and structured education for type 1 & 2 diabetes. My Current job role involves being lead clinician for the insulin pump service and working to improve outcomes and empower pump users, this has included developing an insulin pump database to help track patient consumable ordering, quality of life and clinical progress- this was shortlisted as a QiC finalist in 2015. Also regular teaching on the advanced management of diabetes course at the University of Essex, Antenatal clinics, delivering DAFNE, DESMOND, XPERT and regular local patient education programmes.

I take a leading role in service improvement projects for people with diabetes and local Audit. Current projects include working in association with the National Diabetes Prevention Programme and Essex County Council public health and wellbeing team to improve local pathways and health professional knowledge and access to these as well as developing new initiatives for those with existing diabetes. And recently involved with the joint development of a new education programme for type 2 insulin users.

Dr Krystyna Matyka is now retired but worked as an Associate Clinical Professor at Warwick Medical School and Consultant Paediatrician with a special interest in diabetes at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire until 2013. Krystyna had research interests in physical activity in childhood and hypoglycaemia in children with Type 1 diabetes. Krystyna has been involved in Medical Education for a number of years and continues to work for the Masters in Paediatric Diabetes at Warwick University as well as being involved in medical student teaching.

I have worked in the NHS as a nurse for over 35 years, 23 of these have been solely with children, young people and their families as a paediatric diabetes specialist nurse.  I have worked across hospital and community trusts and have volunteered for Diabetes UK for their Type 1 camps and family weekends for over 23 years. During my practice I have helped to shape local, regional and national policy. I was a guideline development group member for the 2015 NICE guidance (NG18) for children with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and a specialist committee member for the 2016 NICE Quality Standards (QS125) for children and young people with diabetes. In February 2016 I was appointed to the Council of Healthcare Professionals representing paediatric diabetes. I also had the honour of presenting diabetes in children and young people to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes at the House of Commons in September 2016. In 2017 I was appointed as a judge on the QiC awards.

I have written articles for national diabetes journals and have obtained my MSc Advanced Diabetes Educator (Children young people and families). I am currently the Advanced Specialist Practitioner for Paediatric Diabetes at University of Manchester Foundation Trust.

Shantell a Diabetes Nurse Consultant is employed by CNWL NHS Trust at Camden Diabetes Integrated Practice Unit (IPU), one of the first in the country. Shantell has over 15 years’ experience as a Diabetes Specialist Nurse within Primary, Community and Hospital Care, mainly in North Central London and Bedfordshire. Shantell has a keen interest in care closer to home, population improvement of diabetes care, supporting self-management and management of complex patients with psychological needs. She currently runs a joint clinic with diabetes psychologist and working with the newly forming Psychosis IPU with joint working and management of people with Diabetes and Serious Mental Illness.

Sarita Naik graduated from Nottingham University Medical School and completed specialist training in diabetes and endocrinology in centres along the south coast before taking up her post in 2013.  Sarita obtained an MD in 2012 looking at structured education and psychosocial distress in type 1 diabetes.  She undertook further research at Yale University looking at pharmacological treatments for hypoglycaemia in type 1 diabetes and using functional MRI. She has an interest in type 1 diabetes, insulin pump therapy and currently leads the diabetes antenatal service. She also works closely with Camden and Islington CCG to provide better integrated care for people with diabetes in the community.

Helena began volunteering at JDRF the type 1 diabetes charity 6 years ago, she has worked within the organisation since, in several different roles. The last 3 years she has worked on the Community Engagement team, creating resources and holding events to support those affected by type 1 diabetes.

She has been instrumental in the development of a wide range of projects including the JDRF Schools Programme and events solely for adults with type 1 and works hard to ensure there is support available for people with type 1 at every stage of their lives.

Philip Newland-Jones is a Consultant Pharmacist in Diabetes and Endocrinology and works at University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust. He is a member of the UKCPA Diabetes and Endocrinology Committee, the Joint British Diabetes Societies (JBDS-IP) Group and Chairs the regional Diabetic subgroup of the District Prescribing Committee. At Southampton he is the clinical lead for type 1 diabetes and as an interest in severe insulin resistance.

At a national level he is the lead pharmacist for NHS England Diabetes and Endocrinology 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”, the “Journal of Medicines Optimisation” and “Medicine Matters diabetes”.  He is also a specialist advisor to the CQC for diabetes in secondary and intermediate care services.  In 2015 he was awarded the National Leadership in Pharmacy award by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

He has a key role with pharmaceutical and clinical input into the direction of inpatient and outpatient diabetes care at University Hospital Southampton, and works in a Consultant practitioner prescribing Pharmacist role on a day to day basis reviewing inpatients and outpatients with diabetes and endocrine 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.  He is the MSc module lead for “Modern Management of Diabetes, Nutrition and Pharmacotherapy” at the University of Southampton.

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 spending nine years there in a number of roles including sales, management and training.

Joining 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 key stakeholders in diabetes and in the NHS.

In January 2011 Becky became the Head of Professional Relations for Sanofi Diabetes, and through this role has enabled Sanofi to support programmes such as Quality in Care Diabetes and develop free apps for children with diabetes such as Monster Manor and Mission T1D.

Vicky Ruszala is a specialist pharmacist at North Bristol NHS Trust. She works in a specialist capacity with the diabetes and endocrinology team, trying to improve inpatient experience for those with diabetes and reducing errors in diabetes care.  She leads the NBT team quality improvement program, with a current focus on reducing insulin errors and inpatient hypoglycaemia.

For the last 7 years she has been part of the UKCPA Diabetes Group committee, which has allowed her to contribute to raising the standard of diabetes care at a national level, in all healthcare settings. She been the joint chair of this group for the past 3 years.  Currently she is the pharmacist lead of the endocrinology Clinical Reference Group for NHS England and has also worked as pharmacist representative on the guideline development group for the new NICE Type 1 diabetes guideline.

She has been published in a range of journals on different aspects of diabetes care. As a speaker she has had the privilege of attending and speaking at a range of national and international conferences. In addition, she works locally providing diabetes education for primary and secondary care professionals, including pharmacists, nurses and doctors.

Andrew Stroud is a parent of a child with type 1, and a fundraiser. His daughter was diagnosed aged 5 in 2011, the first person with T1D in the family, so quite a shock to all and a big learning curve. As a keen if sedate cyclist, Andrew has thrown himself into fundraising for JDRF and has raised over £20,000 with various cycling challenges, the most recent cycling from London to Brighton with his daughter and managing her BGs throughout the 10 hour ride with the  help of the libre. She uses the Accuchek Insight insulin pump.”

Sarah has worked with DRWF since the group’s inception in the UK in 1999, becoming Chief Executive in 2005. She has had the privilege of overseeing the development and growth of all of the charity’s activities to its current status as a recognised provider of funds for diabetes research both in the UK and around the world, and a credible source of authoritative information and award-winning support programmes, for people living with all types of diabetes.

She says ‘We are a small group in the UK, with just a dozen staff, whose focus is entirely on supporting people in their self-management of diabetes, whatever that looks like for them, whilst we’re waiting for a breakthrough in the research we fund. We were delighted last year when our Diabetes Wellness event programme was awarded a high commendation in the Empowering People with Diabetes category, and subsequently went on to receive the overall winner award in the Judges Special Award category.’

Sarah also works on secondment with Diabetes Wellness Sverige (Sweden) and is trustee of Stiftelsen Diabetes Wellness Norge (Norway).

Esther is a Diabetes Inpatient Specialist Nurse (DISN) at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and chair of the DISN UK Group.  Graduating from the University of East Anglia, with a background in acute and older people’s medicine, she has been a DISN for 16 years.  She is passionate about improving diabetes care in hospitals through individual patient review, audits and service development and education for patients and staff.  Esther includes among her achievements; helping develop a validated inpatient diabetes treatment satisfaction questionnaire, establishing the DISN UK group and being co-author of the JBDS guideline for the treatment of hypoglycaemia.  She is also a proud mum of 4!

Lis Warren has had type 1 diabetes for 53 years and is an active volunteer for the NHS, diabetes charities and the Health Innovation Network, as well as being an enthusiastic patient advocate.  She is co-chair of the NHS London Diabetes Patient Experience group and has worked with them on eye screening procurement, service specifications, workforce training and insulin pump use.  She is also a Trustee of INPUT (diabetes tech advocacy), a Diabetes UK Service Champion, has spoken for JDRF in parliament and is a patient representative on the Government’s Diabetes Think Tank.  Lis is an active member of the worldwide #DOC (Diabetes Online Community).

Dr Eleri Williams is a Consultant Paediatrician at Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust and was appointed to this post in 2002. She is based at Royal Hampshire County Hospital Winchester and is the lead for Paediatric Diabetes and endocrinology and deputy clinical lead for paediatrics. Eleri is a member of the National and international diabetes and endocrinology societies (ACDC, BSPED and ISPAD) and has been on the committee for the Association of Children’s Diabetes Clinicians (ACDC) since 2015.

Eleri also has significant experience in training, education and quality assurance both for undergraduate and post graduate training in paediatrics. She is part of the student education faculty for Southampton University medical school and is an examiner for the Royal College of Paediatrics. She has held various roles for the Wessex deanery including training programme director for paediatrics and is currently a case manager for the professional support unit in the Wessex Deanery.

Kev enjoys surfing, cycling and backpacking around India, but above everything he is proud to call himself a Diabetes Dad. His daughter Amy was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2010, aged 10. Kev is a blogger (Circles of Blue), an active member of the Diabetes Online Community and a founding member for QiC finalists T1Resources and Sugarbuddies.

Through his cycling Kev has raised thousands for Type 1 charities, this year’s challenge being leading 12 Diabetes Dads from London to Paris. In 2015 Kev became involved with the DIY medical tech Nightscout & #WeAreNotWaiting community after building a device to read Dexcom G4 data. Kev and Amy have gone on to give many WeAreNotWaiting presentations to doctors, professors, HCPs, charities, national conferences and education days. In 2018 Kev was proud to present at the T1D Rise of the Machines event. Amy is now using a DIY closed-loop artificial pancreas.

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