Meet the Team
Diabetes is soon to be the fastest growing health crisis of our generation and therefore research is vital for prevention, treatment and care of those who live with the condition.
Research highlights include the use of medical technology for diabetes management, genetic testing for diabetes which may influence outcomes of treatment, immunotherapies and artificial pancreas to prevent type 1 diabetes and improving the diabetic retinopathy for screening and therapies.
Associate research delivery manager
CRN North East and North Cumbria
Dr Patrick Holmes
Diabetes specialty group lead for primary care
NHS Darlington clinical commissioning group
Nicky Cunningham's research experience
I am an associate research delivery manager and lead nurse for the NENC CRN, as well as senior nurse research lead for South Tees Hospitals Foundation Trust and a visiting research fellow at the University of Sunderland.
I have been nursing for 33 years, 24 years working within clinical research. I have held many roles in research nursing as well as senior lecturer in research methodology, clinical trials unit manager and project manager as well as a co-applicant researcher and nurse, midwife and allied health professional (NMAHP) engagement lead. Clinical specialties I have worked in include cardiovascular, HIV and macular degeneration research.
My real passion is in supporting nurses, midwives and allied health professionals to get engaged with research to improve practice and outcomes for patients. In my role as a research delivery manager I cover the specialties of stroke, renal and urology. diabetes, metabolic and endocrine disorders and cardiovascular diseases. I also run the #SteesBeCurious hashtag on Twitter!
Dr Patrick Holmes's research experience
I have worked as a general practitioner since 1998. I have a special interest in adult diabetes and obesity. I have been the local primary care lead for diabetes since 2006, as well as the North East England & North Cumbria (ICS) diabetes network lead (primary care).
I am proud to have been part of the team who set up the largest integrated diabetes models in England, which won a 2017 QiC national award and was shortlisted for the 2018 HSJ Improving Value Awards. I am a member of the working group for the 2021 UK kidney association clinical practice guideline: sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibition in adults with kidney disease.
I am also a member of the cardiovascular, diabetes, renal, respiratory and allergy expert advisory group at the MHRA, as well as a committee member and trustee of the primary care diabetes society and an associate editor for the Diabetic Medicine Journal.
What is happening in diabetes research?
The NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria, together with the local research leads for diabetes, is setting up a community of practice for anybody who is interested in diabetes research.
Anybody who works in diabetes care is welcome, regardless of your job role or whether you work in primary care, secondary care, public health, in the community and other settings.
We aim to meet on a regular basis, giving everyone an opportunity to discuss the delivery of studies within the diabetes, metabolic and endocrine specialism. Come along to gain support and advice, or share any knowledge that may interest others. The meetings have an open agenda which leaves room for discussion.
What is a community of practice?
Communities of practice are “groups of people who share a concern or a passion about a topic and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area y interacting on an ongoing basis [...] They get together because they find value in their interactions, as they spend time together, they typically share information, insight, and advice. [...] They also develop personal relationships and established ways of interacting. They may even develop a common sense of identity. They become a community of practice.” - Wenger et al, 2002.
I am interested. What do I do next?
Turn up and join in! You are welcome to contribute items of discussion to the meeting. We aim to foster a culture of respect, allowing all colleagues attending to have a voice and maintaining a safe space for discussion whilst aiming for a positive experience.
Please contact [email protected] if you would like to be added to the regular meetings.
How to get involved
Read our local strategy
Find out what our local plans are for diabetes research in the North East and North Cumbria by reading the 2023-25 strategic plan.
Signpost newly diagnosed diabetic patients to ADDRESS-2 if they would like to take part in diabetes and immunotherapy research.
Biomedical Research Centre opportunities
Contact the Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre, as their research themes have cross cutting elements of diabetes research.
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