Chair's Report March 2017

Dr Rob Gregory (Chairman, ABCD)
Date of the announcement: 
Sunday, 19 March, 2017

20th Anniversary.  This year is a landmark year for ABCD and we are celebrating our 20th anniversary.  Make sure you come along to our Spring Meeting for clinical updates, sharing best practice and research and also learning more about new developments at ABCD aimed at supporting our membership.  

Click HERE to find out more about the Spring Meeting (Make sure you are logged in to access member rates).

Insulin Pump Meeting

This year we will be hosting our second insulin pump meeting immediately prior to the ABCD Spring Meeting.  Places are limited so make sure you register soon to secure your place.  Click HERE to find out more (make sure you are logged in to obtain member rates

Executive reshuffle

Spring is here and change is in the air.  My term as Chair will come to an end at the AGM in Belfast on 10th May.  My successor will be Dinesh Nagi, currently General Secretary.  I'm sure members will join me in congratulating him, and I have no doubt that the association will enter a new and exciting phase under his leadership.  The finances will continue to be in the safe hands of Tony Robinson who has agreed to stay on as Treasurer for a further year.  Russell Drummond exchanges Meetings Secretary for General Secretary, and we welcome Dipesh Patel as the new Meetings Secretary.  Chris Walton steps down from the executive to make room for me as ex-officio chair.  I am delighted he will stay on as a director of BJDVD Ltd and report to committee about the journal.


Permit me to reflect on the last three years.  ABCD has become even more influential nationally, with representation in most of the diabetes advisory and decision-making bodies.  We have good working relationships with key stakeholders and have seen progress in a number of areas.  All nations in the UK have made diabetes a priority and all have found money to invest in diabetes at a time when health budgets are under severe pressure.  The clinical work streams have all produced key guidelines and position statements that will contribute to improvements in care for people with diabetes.  Our journal is attracting a growing number of submissions, and we have set ourselves the target of achieving PubMed Central listing in the near future.  The Nationwide Audits of New Therapies have gone global.  I am organising a second 'ABCD Clinical and Commissioning News Live' event in the summer to bring commissioners and clinicians together in 4-5 localities.  The establishment of ABCD IPN-UK along with a new corporate membership scheme to support it was a triumph, and the (sugar-free) icing on the cake will be the launch of the ABCD UK Type 1 Clinical Collaborative after a very positive meeting at the Diabetes UK professional conference


Rapid growth of an organisation brings challenges that my successor and the new executive team will need to confront.  ABCD has been approached by individuals and organisations to give administrative and/or financial support for worthy projects that deserve our help, but with finite resources we cannot do everything, so the committee has difficult choices to make.  Committee has agreed to support the ExTOD conference in 2017 in conjunction with JDRF.  This is sure to sell out as Ian Gallen gave it a massive plug in Manchester last week, so I would urge you to book as soon as possible.

The funding model of the association depends on corporate support, and successive treasurers have designed schemes that comply with ABPI regulations to cover the whole range of activities.  It is difficult to plan for more than 12 months ahead when companies delay their spending decisions until (after) the last minute.  I am grateful to our corporate members for their continuing support.  Lilly has announced that after 5 highly successful years it is no longer able to be the sole sponsor of the National Consultant Diabetologist Mentorship Scheme organised on our behalf by Dev Singh.  I am very grateful to Lilly for their support for the scheme since its inception, and for their commitment to see it placed on a firm footing for the future

Membership Drive in Manchester Central

Although membership subscriptions (now tax-deductible) will never be sufficient to pay for everything we wish to do, if we could significantly increase the proportion of eligible consultants and trainees who are members it would also make ABCD even more attractive to corporate supporters.  I attended the YDEF Day in Manchester to promote ABCD and publicise the special offer of a free one year's membership for new SpR members who join in 2017.  I also had the pleasure of interviewing (yes really!) candidates for the YDEF committee.  There were six candidates for one vacancy, and if they are representative of the talent coming through the system, then the future of our specialty is assured.  Diabetes UK invited me to be a panellist for the Consultants and Specialist Trainees’ P.I.G. and I explained what ABCD has been up to in the 5 minutes allocated to me.  Stella George had softened the audience up with the latest Workforce Survey data, so I did not have to answer any awkward questions.  Stella will be presenting a more detailed analysis of the first data collected electronically at the Belfast meeting.

Spring Cleaning

There are some items of unfinished business that I hope will yet be achieved in my term.  Completing the Diabetes and Endocrinology chapter for Medical Care, the RCPL on-line guide to medical specialties, is very important, as we will be able to use this in discussions with commissioners and provider organisations.  Furthermore the 'Getting it Right First Time' Lead for Diabetes will be able to cite it in their discussions with Trusts.  The most controversial section is the description of workforce numbers, in particular how many consultants are needed to provide a 5-day, and a 7-day service for a given population.  Committee discussed how this should be expressed –how assumptions concerning contributions to GIM were to be factored in, and whether the denominator population should be the diabetic population. 

Our website redevelopment is a priority, and it won’t be long now before everything we need will be accessible from  Andy Macklin will be setting up members only forums where you will be able to chat about topics that you feel need to be aired.

Diabetes and CKD work stream

Peter Winocour and colleagues from ABCD and the Renal Association have produced four guidelines on various aspects of diabetes and CKD.  These were trailed at a highly-successful joint conference on the topic at the NEC recently.  There is a real need for some research into key evidence-free areas, and an appetite to do this.  I hope that ABCD might be able to support a project, perhaps in conjunction with the Renal Association in the future.  At the very least we will be trying to persuade Diabetes UK and Kidney Research to prioritise projects in the field

Corrigendum and apology

Reports thatAna Pokrajac had completed two terms on the ABCD Committee were wrong.  I am glad to say that she has kindly agreed to serve a second term.  I apologise for the error.

Thank You

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all our corporate sponsors without whom all the activities, educational programmes and research programmes would not be possible.  We are very grateful for their continued support in these challenging times.  See footer for details of sponsors

That sinking feeling

While I do not know whether Leicester City FC will still be in the Champions League when you read this, I do know that it will be business as usual for ABCD.  Looking forward to seeing you at the Titanic Centre in Belfast for the spring meeting.




Rob Gregory