37Th Annual General Meeting

37th Annual General Meeting

President’s Report

This has been another very busy year for the Society. We have been actively involved in a number of significant initiatives over the year that I think have distinctly raised the profile of the Society on the national stage.

A second group of diabetes nurse specialists have been launched on their way to attaining prescribing status. When they have completed their training the number of diabetes specialist prescribers will have doubled in the last three years. This project has had enthusiastic support from the Ministry of Health, Health Workforce NZ, and is very much seen as a flagship for nurses in other specialties to attain similar status. Our success in this has been grounded in the highly supportive collegial relationships between the nurses and doctors in our field and the outstanding leadership of Helen Snell and her co-workers. Without Helen’s drive and determination, not to mention her attention to detail, endless patience and ability to negotiate hazards, this would not have happened. Our challenge in the next few years is to establish clear pathways whereby diabetes nurse specialists can reach prescribing status, to continue supporting them in their practice, to maintain professional standards and to support the need to recognise that their increased responsibilities should be appropriately remunerated.

Helen has also been leading the development of an e-based learning programme for primary care nurses working in diabetes, which was launched very successfully just before Christmas. We hope, in conjunction with our developer partner, Refract, and Diabetes New Zealand (DNZ), to be able to develop the e-learning platform further with modules for other groups such as the unregulated workforce, but there are significant funding issues that need to be overcome before we can proceed with these developments.

We have worked very closely with Chris Baty and Joe Asghar from DNZ on these and other issues, and I believe that our relations with DNZ are closer than they have been for many years. I must acknowledge too the contribution of John Wilson who has been our representative with DNZ and undertaken an important liaison role.

The Society is regularly asked to contribute professional opinion to various bodies, and I would like to thank Michelle Downie who is our representative on the Gestational Diabetes Guidelines Development Group. This group is still deliberating but should be making recommendations before the end of this year.

Paul Drury, our Medical Director, is also involved in a planned revision of cardiovascular guidelines and in addition to his day job running the Auckland Diabetes Centre, has taken on an important national role chairing the National Diabetes Group at the Ministry of Health, and trying to bring a more coherent approach to the Ministry’s approach to diabetes.

Paul and Ali Copeman, our conference organiser, are responsible for the Hawke’s Bay conference which promises to be excellent. I am also very grateful to Tim Kenealy and Kate Smallman for their organisation of an excellent programme for the Primary Care Day. The full name of our Society reminds us that we have a primary interest in supporting local research. The record number of abstract submissions attests to the strength of interest in research. The Society continues to administer research awards very kindly sponsored by Eli Lilly and Sanofi, and I am delighted to announce that a new research award, sponsored by iSens-Pharmaco will be made for the first time in 2013. We are very grateful to all the sponsors for their most generous support. The New Zealand Diabetes Federation has again been able to sponsor a research fellowship and this will be taken up by Jasmine Tan in Auckland from June this year. Jasmine will be working on a number of projects related to diabetes and renal disease.

To end on a personal note, I have been President of the Society now for nearly four years and will not be standing for office again. It has been a great honour to have held this role and I am very grateful for and would like to acknowledge the wonderful support from all the members and officers of the executive committee, especially Paul Drury who contributes enormously to so many aspects of the Society. I would like to thank too Ole Schmeidel and Lorna Bingham who have brought great ideas and vigour to NewSweet. Finally I must give sincere thanks to Jan Brosnahan who runs the secretariat of the Society so efficiently and effectively, and who tolerates my inefficiencies with so much patience.

Dr T Cundy

NZSSD Medical Director Report 2013

The pace of life at NZSSD has not slowed, but I will try and avoid overlap with the other reports though many of the most important events have been joint achievements with other individuals and groups. These would include the roll-out of the prescribing project and the innovative e-learning facility for primary care nurses, each having benefitted from great collaborative efforts. I must though single out Helen Snell’s quite colossal contribution to both of these.

National scientific output

It’s good to be able to report that there have been a good number of high quality publications from NZ in very reputable journals from groups all around the country in the last couple of years, and many presentations at Australian, American and European meetings. The volume of abstracts submitted to this year’s NZSSD ASM is probably a record, though I would ask submitters to pay a little more attention to our few rules! What is encouraging is to see a slowly widening pool of active researchers, ranging from pure science though clinical studies to epidemiology, education and health care delivery – and we are pleased to see a good number of quality applications for the grants, sometimes making judging quite hard.

Forthcoming meetings

We have booked the 2014 ASM meeting for Queenstown for this same week next year. Once again we have anxieties over attendance and finance – we recognise the increasing difficulty that many have in obtaining funding to attend; this can only really be resolved by making some educational funds a condition of employment contracts. As always we thank Ali Copeman for her efficiency and good humour through all the many requests she receives.

One other meeting you should know about is the global IDF meeting in Melbourne (Dec 2013), though we are disappointed that very little NZ input has been sought by the organisers.

National issues and National Diabetes Services Improvement Group (NDSIG)

You will probably know that the concentration of the Ministry last year was on the Diabetes Care Improvement Packages (DCIP), the replacement for ‘Get Checked’, which got off to a slow start. Progress has been greater over the last six months, though is still patchy. I would encourage you all to take part in, or feedback to, Local Diabetes Teams to see that national intentions are mirrored in your DHB or PHO but tailored to meet the population needs. There is a wide desire to have a single national plan with 20 different flavours rather than 20 different plans and to see transparent data on quality of care with realistic indicators and outcomes..

Brandon Orr-Walker left his National role last August but has continued to provide a major source of advice and insight, and the new Ministry team have taken up their roles with gusto – helped by great interest from the Minister. We also have a new primary care target champion in Helen Rodenburg from Wellington. What has been really encouraging in the last couple of months is a new willingness at the MoH to take a new look at the whole national strategy for diabetes, including previous ‘no-go’ areas. I will elaborate.

Other issues

The PHARMAC meter/strip changeover has overall been less fraught than it might have been, and the pump funding mechanism has been reasonably straightforward if time-consuming.

I’d like to thank the other members of the Exec for their support, Jan Brosnahan for all her work and also Ann Gregory and Michele Garrett for their contributions for DSIG and PodSIG. A particular pleasure has been the great collaboration with Chris Baty representing DNZ and with Pauline Giles as Chair of DNSS – both individually and with their teams they have contributed enormously to the progress that’s been made. The cohesion of our professional and patient organisations, and the clear messages they give, appear greatly respected in Wellington.

Paul Drury, Medical Director 23 April 2013

Diabetes New Zealand Report - NZSSD 2012/2013

While there is much to report on, one particular highlight worthy of mention upfront is the completion of our unification programme. While work will continue for some time to bed in unification, there is an enormous sense of strength, vitality and optimism from having unified, and we are now focusing on the future and doing our bit to address the diabetes challenge. And happily I can report that three Societies who initially opted not to join the unified organisation have since decided to join.

Engagement platform

·  This project continues to go from strength to strength. It was fantastic to see the section of the platform for nurses working in primary care launched last year. In a heartening sign of its success over 500 nurses have registered and the feedback is overwhelmingly positive. The consumer side of the platform is currently under development and we envisage this side of the platform being launched around the middle of this year.

·  I would like to acknowledge our joint work with NZSSD (via Dr Helen Snell) on this project, and with the Refract Group. It’s truly an exciting and innovative project. At our Parliamentary meeting earlier this year (discussed further below), we presented on the platform and the project was very well received - the MPs present were genuinely excited by its potential.


·  Over the last year we continued our participation in a range of national groups, including the National Diabetes Services Improvement Group, the NZGG Advisory Group and regional diabetes strategy development.

·  We engage with the Minister, the NHB and the Ministry on a regular basis.

·  Following the changes to funding of blood glucose meters and test strips last year, we have had heightened involvement with PHARMAC, and in particular have been working with them to try and ensure the meter swap-over goes as smoothly as possible for people with diabetes.

·  Our Parliamentarian meetings continue. At the first session earlier this year Joe Asghar (Diabetes NZ, Chief Executive) and Margaret Miles (Director, Refract Group) presented on the engagement platform, and in the middle of this year Dr Jeremy Krebs will be presenting on diabetes and obesity.


·  This year we will launch the beginning of a long term diabetes awareness programme (albeit with quite limited funding to only kick start the campaign over several months later this year). The intention is to run the campaign over many years to keep diabetes and the need for action firmly in the spotlight. We are currently developing our campaign objectives and strategy.

·  Diabetes Awareness Week last year focused on diabetes pregnancy. It was a targeted campaign with materials distributed through our Branches, GP clinics and through a range of interested organisations and businesses. We were also grateful for the opportunity to partner with Pharmacy Brands who helped us to raise awareness by running in store awareness campaigns (Pharmacy Brands represents over 300 pharmacies in New Zealand). This year our awareness week will focus on raising awareness about Diabetes NZ, who we are, what we do, and how we can help people affected by diabetes.

·  We continue to work with other NGOs to both spread our message and help them understand the needs of people with diabetes in their care.


·  Diabetes NZ continues to reach out to Te Roopu Mate Huka o Aotearoa and work with them on joint initiatives.

·  On our Advisory Council we are grateful to have Gina Berghan representing the Maori sector of the diabetes population.

·  We remain committed to trying to get the help needed to appropriately lead and inform us on the development a Māori engagement plan.


·  Unfortunately the lack of this necessary resource remains a critical concern. We are currently exploring different ways we can gather adequate funding to support our work.

Diabetes NZ Supplies Ltd

·  It is with deep regret that last year Diabetes NZ Supplies Ltd (DNZSL) ceased operation on 30 November. Recent changes to how PHARMAC funds test strips has meant DNZSL could no longer cover its running costs.

·  Clinics and practices are still able to order blood glucose meters and test strips from Diabetes NZ up until the end of June 2013.

·  Diabetes information pamphlets are still available for order from Diabetes NZ and we are currently reviewing the online store and a decision will be made on its future later this year.


·  We continue to provide support to people everywhere in New Zealand. Over the last year we took approximately 20,000 phone calls, distributed approximately 200,000 pamphlets, distributed approximately 70,000 magazines and received approximately 250,000 visits to our website. In addition to this there were over 8000 (estimated) face to face/direct contacts through our Branches and approximately 36,000 emails directly from people seeking support.