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News

2017

GP to champion diabetes care in North West London

Local GP, Dr Tony Willis has been named as a Diabetes UK Clinical Champion to help transform care for people living with diabetes in North West London.

Dr Tony Willis, a GP in Shepherd’s Bush and the clinical lead for diabetes for the NHS North West London Collaboration of CCGs, was chosen for his passion for and commitment to excellence in diabetes care. 

Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. If not managed well, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to serious complications.

Diabetes care can vary widely in different regions, and many people will struggle to access the vital services they need to manage their condition well. As a Clinical Champion, Dr Willis will join a two-year leadership development programme, supported by Diabetes UK. He will identify areas in need of improvement and push for changes to improve the care that people in north west London receive.

Dr Willis said: “The Clinical Champion role provides a fantastic opportunity to take forwards the great work we’ve begun in North West London. We support a population of 2.1 million and are addressing the multiple challenges of working at scale, improving patient outcomes, integrating clinical pathways, commissioning healthcare across multiple providers, maximising support for self-care for patients from diverse backgrounds and helping kindle a real sense of team spirit amongst the hundreds of key stakeholders involved.”

Dr Willis is one of just 20 UK healthcare professionals, including consultants, nurses, GPs, dietitians, podiatrists and pharmacists, to be appointed as one of the charity’s Clinical Champions this year. 

The NHS North West London Collaborative of Clinical Commissioning Group is a collaboration of NHS Brent CCG, NHS Central London CCG, NHS Ealing CCG, NHS Hammersmith & Fulham CCG, NHS Harrow CCG, NHS Hillingdon CCG, NHS Hounslow CCG, and NHS West London CCG.

Roz Rosenblatt, Head of London for Diabetes UK, said: “Diabetes is the most devastating and fastest growing health crisis of our time, affecting more people than any other serious health condition in the UK. Investing in diabetes care will reduce the devastating complications that can result from poor management of the condition, bringing health and economic benefits.

“Champions like Dr Willis play a critical role in improving the services people with diabetes receive, and contribute massively to our vision of creating a world where diabetes can do no harm.”

The award-winning Clinical Champions programme was launched by Diabetes UK in 2014, in partnership with Novo Nordisk. There are now 65 champions across the UK who have access to a network of like-minded clinicians with who they can share expertise and experience.

If you are interested in becoming a Diabetes UK Clinical Champion for the 2018-2020 intake please contact clinicalchampions@diabetes.org.uk or call 020 7424 1896. This is a Diabetes UK project in collaboration with Novo Nordisk who are providing support and funding.

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For further media information please contact Helen Riley on 0203 757 7783 / helen.riley’diabetes.org.uk or Diabetes UK’s media relations team on 020 7424 1165 or email pressteam@diabetes.org.uk. For urgent out of hours media enquiries only please call 077 111 76028.

Notes to editors:

  1. Diabetes UK’s aim is creating a world where diabetes can do no harm. Diabetes is the most devastating and fastest growing health crisis of our time, affecting more people than any other serious health condition in the UK - more than dementia and cancer combined. There is currently no known cure for any type of diabetes. With the right treatment, knowledge and support people living with diabetes can lead a long, full and healthy life. For more information about diabetes and the charity’s work, visit www.diabetes.org.uk  
  2. Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. If not managed well, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of preventable sight loss in people of working age in the UK and is a major cause of lower limb amputation, kidney failure and stroke. 
  3. People with Type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin. About 10 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 1. No one knows exactly what causes it, but it’s not to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable. It usually affects children or young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly. Type 1 diabetes is treated by daily insulin doses – taken either by injections or via an insulin pump. It is also recommended to follow a healthy diet and take regular physical activity. 
  4. People with Type 2 diabetes don’t produce enough insulin or the insulin they produce doesn’t work properly (known as insulin resistance). 85 to 90 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 2. They might get Type 2 diabetes because of their family history, age and ethnic background puts them at increased risk. They are also more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if they are overweight. It starts gradually, usually later in life, and it can be years before they realise they have it. Type 2 diabetes is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity. In addition, tablets and/or insulin can be required. 

For more information on reporting on diabetes, download our journalists’ guide: Diabetes in the News: A Guide for Journalists on Reporting on Diabetes (PDF, 3MB).