Diabetes Specialist Group at DUKPC

04 Jun 2024
by Aisling Pigott RD, Sarah Alicea , Jackie Wilson, Jessie Chien, Nusrat Kausar

Members of the BDA Diabetes Specialist Group (DSG) report from the Diabetes UK Professional Conference.

The Diabetes UK Professional Conference (DUKPC) is an annual conference which brings together healthcare professionals, researchers and scientists. The conference offers a multidisciplinary programme with the best and most up-to-date knowledge and insight in diabetes care and research.

This year’s conference took place in ExCeL, London, from 17 to 19 April 2024 and was well attended by BDA members. Notably, dietitian Salma Mehar’s exceptional hard work on the DUKPC planning committee deserves special recognition. Salma’s tireless efforts ensured the conference was a resounding success, cementing our profession’s invaluable contributions. The BDA exhibition was supported by members of the DSG and paediatric and exercise sub-groups during the conference.

Diabetes Specialist Group at DUKPC 4

The committee showcased the profession’s expertise with a vibrant exhibitor stand adorned with DSG banners and a generous supply of resources, courtesy of the BDA office team. The BDA DSG exhibition was strategically positioned at the front entrance of the exhibition hall. The prime location of the stand ensured maximum visibility and foot traffic. The highlight of the exhibition was the ‘Guess the Carbs’ game, a fun and engaging activity that drew delegates to our stand with the attractive prospect of winning a £50 prize.

Diabetes Specialist Group at DUKPC 2

Our team of 10 BDA members included experienced dietitians and student dietitians from across a range of diabetes specialities including paediatrics, eating disorders and renal. The diversity of dietitians in attendance fostered varied perspectives and insightful conversations at the conference. Discussion topics ranged from foods, insulin types, diabetes technologies and exercise, to personal experiences with diabetes, diets and new evidence. These discussions were enriched by the presence of Jo Lewis, the BDA’s Director of Partnerships, who provided invaluable guidance on sponsorship queries.

Dietitians showcased at DUKPC

The impact of dietitians at DUKPC reinforced the vital role dietitians play in shaping diabetes care. It was inspiring to witness our dietetic colleagues’ impact at every level, from chairing panels and sessions to presenting research. BDA members and diabetes specialist contributions included:

  • Francesca Annan (University College London Hospital) and Anne Marie Frohock (Oxfordshire Children’s Diabetes Team) – Clinical Nutrition Approaches in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
  • Amy Jolly (Salford Care Organisation) – Medtronic: Smart MDI System with Simplera: My Experience Alistair Kumi (primary care dietitian) – The Active Role of a PCN Dietitian in Supporting QOF: Success and Opportunities
  • Tahira Amin (PCN low carb dietitian) – Very Low Carbohydrate Remission in Primary Care and the Usefulness of Community Ambassadors in the Success of the Programme
  • Anna Walker (University Hospitals Bristol and Weston) – The Dietitian’s Role in Improving Outcomes and Reducing Health Inequalities when Accessing Diabetes Technology
  • Helen Matebele (Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) – Type 2 Diabetes in Children and Young People Living in Bradford: Identifying Our Population and Understanding their Needs: What We Have Learnt
  • Salma Mehar (London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust) – The Role of Dietitians in Tackling Inequalities – From a Primary Care Perspective
  • Jessie Chien (NHS England) – The Role of Dietitians in Tackling Inequalities – From a Secondary Care Perspective Louise Goff (Leicester Diabetes Centre, University of Leicester) – The Role of Dietitians in Tackling Inequalities – From a Research Perspective
  • Sian Rilstone (Medical Affairs Manager Dexcom) and William Hadfield (Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust) – Dietitian Professional Interest Network Session

What’s next?

The Diabetes UK Professional Conference serves as an invaluable platform for spotlighting dietetics, and the DSG committee wholeheartedly encourages all dietitians with an interest in diabetes to join us for the Diabetes UK Professional Conference in 2025 as ambassadors for our profession.

The committee is keen to further foster and encourage members to raise their visibility at this event and other conferences, especially through submitting and sharing current research or audit or service improvement projects.

The research officers across the Diabetes Specialist Group and Paediatric Diabetes Specialist Group endeavour to work with members and support submissions to these events. The DSG will work with Diabetes UK conference organisers to promote and encourage dietetic representation across this exciting event.

Top tips for getting the most out of a professional conference


  • Plan your funding. Consider educational grants (e.g. BDA GET funding) if sharing research or ideas
  • Student members of the BDA DSG can attend DUKPC for free
  • Check out travel times/walking plan and give lots of time for registration
  • Plan your day – check through the programme of lectures/conference app to focus your learning and map your day. Be selective
  • Try not to overfill your day with back-to-back lectures – give time for posters/seeing reps/stands
  • If there is someone you want to speak to, book in a coffee or a lunch with them ahead of time
  • Consider the key areas for your learning/development and ascertain expectations of your line manager regarding your CPD and sharing of knowledge


  • Give time for a mix of lectures/workshops/looking at the posters/spotlight sessions/company reps and, of course, time at the BDA Diabetes Specialist Group stand!
  • Look for all opportunities to network with other dietitians – BDA stand/specialist group meetings/poster presentations
  • Critical note taking – develop a PowerPoint or notes system for each lecture, then it’s ready to feed back to your team/upload to your personal CPD/reflections
  • Consider effective note taking/camera use/handwritten/electronic notepad/Apple Notes/OneNote/Mindmap/SQR3
  • Document your personal action points/further questions for your team – colour code to encourage critical thinking for service improvement and client care


  • Share your knowledge – conference newsletter to the team/live updates each day/use of social media or internal websites for comms/sharing of the Diabetes UK social media channels
  • Make notes of the people you’ve met to facilitate networking and connections within your team
  • Get together with colleagues who have attended to do joint feedback sessions/CPD sharing
  • You will get tired – take time out after the day to unwind, get fresh air, enjoy your meal and rest, ready for the next day!

Want to attend the DUK professional conference next year?

Consider submitting an abstract to share your service improvement projects, audit or current research. Remember – sharing good practice benefits everyone.

Catch up on the webinar series ‘Dietitian like me: Research Skills for Dietitians’, available on the Diabetes Specialist Group page for tips on preparing for research, navigating ethics and poster presentations.

Keep up to date with upcoming conferences and deadlines for submission on our ‘conference watch’, available on the Diabetes Specialist Group’s research page.

You should also consider expressing an interest in the DUKPC multidisciplinary conference organising committee and reach out to the specialist group research officers – Elmarie, Aisling, Paula and Duane – for advice or support. Contact details are available on BDA DSG/PDSG committee pages.

If you’re interested in diabetes, why not join our Diabetes Specialist Group?

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