10 January 2012
UH Bristol Consultant Named as NHS Diabetes Champion for Older People in Southern England
Dr Simon Croxson, Consultant Physician in Geriatric and Diabetic
Medicine at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH
Bristol), has been confirmed as NHS Regional Champion of the Older
People's Diabetes Network (OPDN) for southern England.
The OPDN is being developed as a partnership between NHS
Diabetes and the Institute of Diabetes for Older People (IDOP) and
is led by the National Clinical Lead for Diabetes in Older People,
Professor Alan Sinclair. The project is managed by Julian
Backhouse at NHS Diabetes. It will bring together health and
social care professionals who share a common goal: to ensure
that older people with diabetes get the best possible
The risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases with age.
It can be managed but not cured, and diabetes in older people is
common, often serious and complex. One in four older people
in residential and nursing care will have diabetes and preventing
complications in this group is a priority.
Diabetes and age-related decline are strongly associated with
major metabolic disturbance, vascular disease, functional loss,
cognitive dysfunction, depressive illness, infections and
falls. Innovative strategies are needed to minimise the
negative impact of diabetes in this group.
Dr Croxson, in collaboration with other experts in the field -
to include a co-ordinator (Alison Fowler), GPs, diabetes specialist
nurses, psychiatrists, podiatrists, care home matrons etc - aims to
identify and promote best clinical practice, based on collective
experience, reading and research. The challenge is to ensure
that diabetes is not a barrier to excellent care in old age and
that old age is not a barrier to excellent diabetes care.
"Diabetes affects 15% of the white British elderly and at least
25% of the Indo-Asian British elderly," says Simon Croxson.
"It is associated with coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular
disease, cognitive impairment, falls, infection, admission to care
homes and other problems; hence we see many elderly diabetic people
on our wards."
Dr Sean O'Kelly, Medical Director of UH Bristol, says:
"Simon Croxson is regarded as a leading expert on diabetes in the
elderly; this having been his specialist area for 20 years.
Identifying key objectives for promoting best clinical practice
within the region is an important project. This is a terrific
opportunity to enhance diabetes care for older people in
Dr Croxson has been a consultant in general medicine for the
elderly at UH Bristol since 1994. He was Chairman of the
British Geriatrics Society Special Interest Group in Diabetes and
is a Co-editor of Practical Diabetes International
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