Sian makes people with diabetes feel safe and supported

Sian Bodman has been nominated by Lynne Lewis for championing diabetes care and supporting her patients.

Lynne nominated Sian 'on behalf of so many other people' that she said had been helped by Sian.

'People talk about Sian,' she said, ‘especially in small valley communities. Reputations are so important, a professional means so much to a patient when they are living with diabetes. 

'Sian makes people feel safe and once you have met her, she knows you and your nearest and dearest. She understands and supports patients in adjusting their lives to deal with and manage diabetes.'

Sian, who works for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, finds ways for patients and their families to access information about diabetes and works to structure sustainable, quality care. 

Difficulties faced 

'She inspires colleagues and patients alike,' Lynne said. 'Sian's care for people radiates from her, and her patients care about her. Patients respect her not just for her expertise but because she never judges them, even when they are struggling to grasp advice and carry it out as planned. 

'She makes every patient feel they are in it together, but also shows them how to manage themselves and supports them in doing so.'

Lynne pointed to the difficulties Sian faced in trying to establish an integrated model for diabetes care. 

'The resistance to expanding a model of community diabetes care that she had developed in Torfaen felt personal, and it was difficult to witness,' she said.

Structured education 

'It is so heartwarming that the value of the way things are done under her leadership has eventually been recognised and it has now been shared across the whole health board. Nurses know best!'

Sian has led the change to the diabetes service model and trained a team to replicate her role in different communities. 'Yet she still finds time to keep that essential connection. She inspires her patients and people admire her,' Lynne said.

'Sian believes good diabetes care begins with structured education,' she added. 'It is so much more than a course of instruction: it is a life lesson. This demonstrates her expertise and her helpful nature, as well as her ability to see where help is needed and to support with empathy.'

'She is aware of the needs of carers and family, and helps them to make realistic goals that are achievable. She is a great communicator and makes sure that any explanations are appropriate to the person and their needs.

Helping others manage

'We want her to be recognised for her holistic approach where she encompasses all health issues into her care, helping people to manage their condition in individual circumstances and showing such warmth towards people. 

'So often, we hear people say, 'if we could only clone Sian'. We never could because she is unique. She is 'our Sian'.'

Sian says: 'I nearly cried when I saw the nomination. You don't realise the impact you have. I was just doing my job, doing what nurses do – the best I can for the people I care for. 

'I am proud to see care beginning to join up and being able to be more proactive. Sometimes the NHS is not the easiest place to work in or around, but I feel like I am riding the crest of a wave. I love my job – I would do it for free.'


The RCNi Patient’s Choice Award is sponsored by Yakult and supported by Smooth Radio