The Welsh NHS Confederation Conference 2017

Yesterday I had the privilege of being asked to speak at the Welsh NHS Confederation Conference. The topic of my talk was my experience of diabetes care as a patient in Wales. Which was delivered during the 'Patient's Elevator' part of the agenda, alongside four other, incredibly inspiring people, with experiences of different medical conditions/ care provision.

The audience consisted of 300 health and social care professionals, ranging from frontline staff, to health board executives and was chaired by Dr Andrew Goodall who is the Director General of the Department for Health and Social Services and Chief Executive of NHS Wales. We were joined on stage by 4 other patients, and an expert panel of professionals working in the health and social care sector.

Following a brief introduction, each patient was then given 3 minutes to speak about their experience of their care service. Which ranged from cancer care in Wales, to mental health and Alzheimer's disease. I was the final speaker, and decided to talk briefly about my journey with diabetes through the lens of my transition through the health service. I talked about my gratitude for the way in which the immediate care that I received after diabetes diagnosis placed me on the path to have the tools I would later need to become an athlete. I spoke about how transition between paediatrics to adolescent services had been a challenge, because of the greater focus given to numbers such as hba1c and glucose levels. But that I felt nurtured and supported in my current adult clinic for so many reasons including; the provision of patient education from the dietetics department on carbohydrate counting. The provision of the technology that I need to manage my care by way of my insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring.

Prior to the commencement of the conference, the participants of the 'Patients' Elevator', including myself got to speak and get to know each other a little. What became clear within quite a short time, was that despite us all having differing medical conditions or past diagnosis', psychological support was the element of care that we felt was lacking. For example, as a support mechanism in making transition between different clinical departments (i,e- paediatrics and adult clinic) or as a way of preparing for life after cancer diagnosis or remission. The conference was a wonderful opportunity however, to reflect on all that is great, and that could be great about the NHS, to the very people who make it great.


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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