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Northern collaboration: Four Local Clinical Research Networks join together to host successful diabetes event

320 delegates signed up to attend a successful diabetes event hosted by four northern NIHR Local Clinical Research Networks (LCRNs) on 9 February 2022. Colleagues from the North East and North Cumbria, the North West Coast, Yorkshire and Humber and Greater Manchester met frequently over the course of several months to plan the popular event. The aim was to raise awareness and generate interest in different areas of diabetes treatment and research in the north of England.

The event took place online over the course of five hours and included a varied schedule of speakers talking about type 1 and type 2 diabetes, diabetic foot care, self-management, diabetes remission, mental health, bariatric surgery, heart failure, chronic kidney disease, and research and innovation, to name but a few topics. The event also included some moving patient stories which highlighted how research and innovative treatments can make a real difference to people living with the condition.

Nicky Cunningham, Associate Research Delivery Manager for the NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria, who led on the organisation of the event, explained how the four LCRNs worked together to make the event happen: “The event came about as we have a particularly high prevalence of diabetes in the north of England and we are eager to reignite interest in diabetes research following the pandemic.

“We organised the event as a team consisting of Research Delivery Managers, communications staff and admin staff from the four northern LCRNs. We kept in close contact with each other throughout the planning and held regular meetings to make sure we stayed on track. Each LCRN played a key role in identifying and liaising with speakers from each region.

“We are thrilled that the event was so well-attended and hope that it will give diabetes research a real boost in the north.”

Feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive, with delegates praising the quality and variety of the presentations, the impactful patient stories, and the ability to go back and rewatch the sessions via the online event platform.

Professor Simon Heller, National Speciality Lead in Diabetes for the NIHR Clinical Research Network and chair of the event, said: “Thank you to everyone who attended on the day and to the speakers for taking the time to contribute to our collaborative diabetes event. I’d also like to thank the four northern LCRNs for having the imagination and the insight to come together to host this meeting. You worked together brilliantly to make this event a great success and have shown that the north has the capacity and capability to deliver research to an extremely high standard.”