Colleagues praise former DISN UK Group Chair as she steps down

The former chair of the DISN UK Group was “inspirational and aspirational” in raising the profile of diabetes inpatient nursing, according to one colleague.

After 17 years of leading the organisation, Esther Walden, a Diabetes Inpatient Specialist Nurse at the Norfolk & Norwich University NHS Foundation Trust, has stepped down from her posititon.

The DISN UK group began in 2004, when the role of inpatient specialist nurse began to emerge. It became clear the position was different from a standard diabetes specialist nurse but many trusts were taking on individual nurses for this new position.

Since then, the organisation has gone from strength to strength, with a nurses using the forum to share issues and resources, and it has become part of the influential Joint British Diabetes Societies for Inpatient Care Group.

As Erwin Castro, a Diabetes Nurse Consultant for Inpatient and Education at the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, has taken over her position, many of Esther’s colleagues have paid tribute to all her great work.

“Esther has been instrumental in setting up the DISN UK Group. She has led the group in the last 17 years with evident passion and enthusiasm which has resulted in its valuable reputation and contribution to improving the standards of diabetes inpatient care in the UK.  Esther is definitely a tough act to follow!  And it will be a great honour and privilege to continue her quest and to continue and preserve her legacy.”   Erwin Castro, Diabetes Nurse Consultant, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, and new Chair, DISN UK Group.

“As chair of the DISN UK Group Esther has influenced and enabled such huge changes to improve inpatient care for people with diabetes. The group was her vision to facilitate parity across the UK and bring DISNs together to share best practice and provide mentoring and support to those new to post. She attained this to the highest standard.

“With Esther at the helm the group is now synonymous with safe and effective inpatient care and highly regarded throughout the diabetes fraternity. Esther has influenced not only the development of the role of the DISN but also nurtured and encouraged individuals to flourish by enabling them to represent the group within various national organisations.” Debbie Stanisstreet, Diabetes Specialist Nurse, Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust 

“By calling this group together Esther gave the DISN role a recognised status, identity and most importantly a voice. I remember her vision was to work collaboratively to improve and standardise diabetes inpatient care nationally and I think she’s gone a very long way to achieve this. Esther always kept her feet firmly on the shop floor, enabling her to talk about inpatient care with authority and conviction; our issues were her issues too.  She helped shaped my diabetes career more than she will ever know.” Caroline Brooks, Diabetes Educator / CNS Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust 

“As chair of the DISN group Esther has championed diabetes inpatient care for seventeen years and  through her innovation, leadership and humour she has brought many improvements to the diabetes inpatient service.” Anne Claydon, Nurse Consultant –Diabetes, Barts Health NHS Trust 

“Esther has been both inspirational and aspirational in raising the profile of diabetes inpatient nursing in her time as chair of the DISNgroup.  She has demonstrated real passion and imparted much wisdom and support to the group over the years.  We are all grateful to her for her time and effort spent doing this so eloquently over the years.”  Diabetes Clinical Nurse Specialist (Renal)| Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust