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Friday, 20 October 2017
Community Diabetes Team

The Ipswich Hospital Community Diabetes team is part of the integrated service working in both primary and secondary care.

The Community team operates Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm, and can be contacted on 01473 704180.

Our community practitioners Laura Gilligan, Andrea Sills, Kathryn Sutton and Jo Hall.

We are a team of five consisting of:

Four community diabetes specialist practitioners:

  • Kathryn Sutton (full time) Kathryn is a registered dietitian who has worked in a variety of posts in London, Abu Dhabi and East Anglia, all of which have included diabetes to varying degrees. In 2012 she worked in a specialist diabetes role in Norwich, returning to Ipswich in September 2014 to work in an extended dietetic role as a diabetes practitioner.
  • Andrea Sills (part time, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday) Andreas qualified as a registered nurse over 23 years ago. She has had a varied career path, predominantly working in primary/community care and end of life. Andrea joined the team back in 2013 and diabetes has always been close to her heart since being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 10. Diabetes comes with many challenges and Andrea hopes to offer patients empowerment, knowledge and support throughout their continued journey. 
  • Laura Gilligan (part time Monday, Tuesday and Thursday) Laura qualified as a registered nurse in 2001, and immediately spent time working on the wards in Ipswich Hospital. She went on to transfer her skills to the community setting, caring for patients in their own homes. Laura's career as a community nurse expanded over 14 years and, upon feeling she thrived in this field, chose to specialise. As a district nursing sister, Laura worked closely alongside GP surgeries to provide evidence-based nursing skills, with strengths including end of life and wound care. It is during this time, that she acquired a great introduction to and interest in diabetes. Laura became a community diabetes practitioner in 2015, as part of a job share with Jo Hall.
  • Jo Hall (part time Monday, Wednesday and Friday) Jo qualified as a registered nurse 20 years ago, and worked at Ipswich Hospital until 1999 before moving into community nursing within the Ipswich and Felixstowe area. She has worked as a district nursing sister in Ipswich for 15 years specialising in end of life care and wound care management. Jo also spent a year as the community clinical lead for west Ipswich, managing and cooriginating teams of nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists delivering care to patients in their own home. Jo became a diabetes specialist practitioner in 2015, job sharing this role with Laura Gilligan.

and a business administrator, Vanora Assaf (full time).

We are based in the Diabetes Centre at Ipswich Hospital, but work closely with GPs and practice nurses within Suffolk in the management of complex diabetes patients to lessen the risks of complications.

Our service offers:

  • outreach clinics in approximately 24 GP surgeries in Suffolk for those patients who require additional support to improve their  glucose control. We aim to increase this service to more GP surgeries in 2016. These surgeries occur monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly according to the needs of the service;
  • clinics at the Diabetes Centre for patients referred by surgeries who do not currently hold an outreach clinic; 
  • group structured education at those diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes (DESMOND-see link); 
  • individual/group education for those who need to start or improve their control with insulin or other injectable therapies; 
  • telephone or email appointments to support and follow-up patients whilst enhancing accessibility to service; 
  • healthcare assistant training programme; 
  • bespoke training for registered and non-registered healthcare workers; 
  • support and advice to other healthcare professionals including district nurses, nursing homes and professional healthcare teams; 
  • quarterly practice nurse update sessions within the Diabetes Centre promoting a standardised approach to diabetes care; 
  • participation in county-wide community health promotion days and workshops to enhance diabetes awareness and prevention.