Dr Pete Davies – Clinical Service Lead for Diabetes Endocrinology

Pete DaviesDiabetes affects many people in the Sandwell area and nationally. Dr Pete Davies is helping patients manage the condition while pulling the NHS into the digital era.

Pete, 49, from Moseley, is a consultant and clinical service lead for diabetes endocrinology and kidney disease at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust.

He said: “My own special interests in diabetes care are foot disease, insulin pump treatment, young adults with diabetes and looking after in patients with diabetes.  I also lead an endocrine clinic looking after people with thyroid disease and a host of other problems.

“My other major interest is called health informatics, this means using Digital Healthcare tools to make for safer and more efficient services for our patients.”

Pete, originally from Swansea, chose to work with diabetes patients after being inspired by his bosses while he was a medical student. Since then he has been developing strong working relationships with his patients.

He said: “My title is Doctor, but I’ve always been comfortable with patients calling me Pete.  In my line, it is not unusual to develop long-term professional relationships with my patients, so we get to know each other very well.

“I am driven by the belief that by working together with local people and the patients we serve, the NHS can be stronger and safer.  This won’t happen because of any kind of incentive scheme, inspection system, or threat. We must be a part of a social movement that takes the best of our NHS and makes it work for patients even better in the future.

Pete is working on a wide range of projects to improve the care of his patients including working with primary care services and GPs so that diabetes patients can get what they need without coming to hospital as often. This includes establishing text message based reminders, and video consultations through Skype. He is also working with local wellbeing groups to provide emotional support for patients.

A highlight of Pete’s 16 years as a consultant came, when together with people with diabetes in the Sandwell area, held the second largest “Living with Diabetes” event in the UK in 2010 where 250 people attended.

Pete’s next big challenge is to use technology to help improve hospital systems.

He said: “I would love to use my health informatics skills to bring tools like safer electronic-prescribing to our hospitals. This could go a long way towards reducing errors in insulin prescribing for example.

“Computerised systems within hospitals have been an enormous challenge in the past. There is now a real will to make this work better than before.”

Away from work, Pete enjoys cycling, astronomy and photography. He also spends time with his wife and three teenage children and visiting his Welsh roots.

Pete’s hero is the American poet and writer Maya Angelou and his favourite quote of hers is a reflection of how Pete treats his patients: “They will forget what you said; they will forget what you did but they will never forget how you made them feel.”