Setting the Trend for Diabetes Nursing in the Future


Training, Research and Education for Nurses in Diabetes (TREND-UK) was launched in 2010 when the then National Tsar for Diabetes, Dr Sue Roberts, stated that she didn’t know who to contact if she needed a nursing opinion, as there were so many disparate groups representing nursing in diabetes care. The idea for TREND-UK came from four senior nurse consultants who believed there was an opportunity to unite the groups under an umbrella organisation to represent all views, from the unregistered practitioner to the nurse consultant. TREND-UK became a conduit for nursing views from groups such as the Diabetes Inpatient Nurses group, the Practice Nursing group and the Nurse Consultant group, and crystallised to provide a more cohesive voice for nurses. TREND-UK represents nurses throughout the UK, with committee representatives from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and including community nursing, intermediate care nursing, acute care nursing and practice nursing, plus a psychologist. It confers with other healthcare professionals (HCPs) and people with diabetes when developing and producing documents such as the ‘Management of Hypoglycaemia in the Community’. The team is recognised for providing high quality, practical resources for both diabetes HCPs and people with diabetes. TREND-UK is also known for developing high quality, topical, free-to-attend educational meetings and is recognised as a ‘diabetes brand’.

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One of the successes of TREND-UK is the Integrated Career and Competency Framework. This document was developed from an original document published in 2005. The 4th Edition is currently being updated and will be produced with additional information. Competency assessment is crucial to ensure people with diabetes receive appropriate care from nurses who are skilled, knowledgeable and competent. Clearly defined competency levels make it possible for nurses to identify their level of practice. The framework gives them the ability to plan their careers in a more structured way and supports their continuing professional development by identifying individual development and training needs. It is also a resource for commissioners to identify appropriate staff to deliver diabetes services and a guide for employers on the competency expected at the various levels.The Integrated Career and Competency Framework is used widely throughout the UK, and used in part in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It has been used as a model for competency frameworks for podiatrists and pharmacists working in diabetes too. TREND-UK also produces documents and leaflets for HCPs in areas such as Managing Hypoglycaemia in the Community, Managing Intercurrent Illness in the Community and the Consensus document for Blood Glucose Monitoring. In 2012 it began expanding its scope with an information leaflet for people with diabetes as there were few good quality, clear, person-centred leaflets about different aspects of diabetes available other than those produced by the pharmaceutical companies. Since then a further 16 leaflets have been produced with sponsorship from the pharmaceutical industry. All are reviewed by a reference group including people with diabetes and checked every two years to ensure they are current and up to date.


TREND-UK developed the resources available on its website by listening to members’ requests to provide educational materials where few or none had existed. It engaged with the pharmaceutical companies to sponsor the materials. The industry has been very supportive, helping to provide free-to-attend educational events which are non-promotional. Members are kept up to date with new educational events via the website.


The TREND-UK website was launched in 2017. All the resources are accessible to anyone with an interest in diabetes care delivery, including people with diabetes. Over 4,700 members from a wide range of healthcare disciplines have joined the organisation. Information on events, the publication of key documents and the Nurse Bursary is provided on the news page. The bursary was launched this year to allow nurses to access funding to attend a study day where funding from any other source had failed. It intends to provide £1,000 each year for this purpose. The bursary is allocated through completion of a form and adjudicated by an independent panel. In October 2018 TREND-UK will hold its annual conference at two locations in the UK. This is the seventh year of developing and delivering a programme designed to be both topical and interesting for nurses working in diabetes care. Many nurses return annually. This year’s events have been funded by sponsorship from multiple companies involved in diabetes care.

Sustainability and Spread

Since its launch TREND-UK has provided numerous free, person-centred leaflets to people with diabetes and HCPs to enhance access to important information relating to diabetes care. Consensus documents have been produced on subjects such as blood glucose monitoring for HCPs to ensure appropriate use of diabetes consumables. The TREND-UK website is open to everyone and membership is growing daily. Its Career and Competency Framework has become embedded in current nursing practice (the Welsh Academy for Nursing in Diabetes – WAND – competency assessment tool is used for all new DSNs and recommended by Diabetes UK). The Framework has been adopted in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Similar frameworks have been set up by diabetes podiatrists, pharmacists and dietitians. The seventh, free-to-attend annual conferences will take place in October 2018. TREND-UK remains current through sharing comments and news via its email and Twitter accounts. It maintains close links with the Diabetes Times. TREND-UK resources are accessible by all practices within the West London CCG via the EMIS web. It aims to be the ‘go-to’ website for high quality, person-centred information literature on a wide range of diabetes subjects. Members have access to current news stories relating to diabetes care events, documents and leaflets. Its online survey showed that the materials produced by TREND-UK are valued, useful and appropriate.

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QiC Diabetes Winner 2018
Judges’ Special Award
Setting the Trend for Diabetes Nursing in the Future


Debbie Hicks

Job title:
Place of work:
Training, Research and Education for Nurses in Diabetes


Quality In Care Diabetes

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  • 2023 KEY DATES
  • Open for Entry:
    Thursday 27 April 2023
  • Entry Deadline:
    Friday 7 July 2023
  • Judging Day:
    Tuesday 8 September 2023
  • Awards Ceremony:
    Thursday 12 October 2023