I am an experienced diabetes physician and have expertise in all areas of diabetes management. My particular interests are in supporting lifestyle change to manage and reverse type 2 diabetes, and in intensive management of type 1 diabetes including insulin pump therapy. I actively promote self-management and have been closely involved in the development of education programmes for people with diabetes. I am the author of four books on self-management of diabetes.
I qualified from Southampton Medical School in 1985 and after a variety of junior hospital posts, I spent three years as a Medical Research Council Training Fellow at the University of Birmingham, undertaking studies to help unravel the complex genetics behind type 1 diabetes. While fascinating, the truth was that I was not particularly suited to laboratory research, and I concluded that I wanted to devote my energies to helping solve the problems faced by people living with diabetes now, rather than research the underlying genetics that might take some years to yield real results.
After working at St Thomas’ Hospital in London for three years, I moved to Bournemouth in 1996 to work as a Consultant Physician at the Bournemouth Diabetes and Endocrine Centre. I stayed there for 17 years, working with an incredible team. During that time I developed my interest and expertise in self-management for people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and oversaw the development of education programmes for people with type 1 diabetes (BERTIE) and for type 2 diabetes (Focus). I also helped develop a structured educational approach to the management of people starting insulin pump therapy, as well as the first (and I think still the only) open access online programme for people with type 1 diabetes, recently relaunched as BertieOnline.
During this time I sat on a number of committees at Diabetes UK and from 2000-2004 was the Chair of the Education and Psychosocial Care Section of Diabetes UK. In this role I contributed to the development of the National Service Framework for Diabetes. I subsequently sat on the Specialist Liaison group that worked with the National Clinical Director for Diabetes on improving diabetes services in England.
Around 2010, I began to explore the potential of low carbohydrate diets in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and this forms the basis or much of my current work. By 2013, I was ready for a new challenge and left the UK to work for three years as the Director of Policy and Programmes at the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in Brussels. The IDF is a global federation that represents over 230 national diabetes associations. In my role, I was responsible for overseeing a range of projects and programmes that addressed the various needs of people with diabetes at a global level.
In 2014 I published my first book, ‘Reverse your diabetes: the step by step plan to take control of type 2 diabetes’, aimed at providing people with type 2 diabetes with the information they need to make lifestyle changes to achieve better control of their condition, and possibly to reverse it. This was followed in 2016 by ‘Reverse your diabetes diet’, providing 60 recipes to help people better manage type 2 diabetes. In 2018 I published 'Take control of type 1 diabetes' and, together with Emma Porter, 'The low carb diabetes cookbook'.
Since 2016 I am based in the UK and divide my time between clinical work (at the private London Medical clinic and the Poole NHS Diabetes Centre), project work (currently in Bermuda and Kenya), professional training and writing.
My aim is to reduce the impact of diabetes for individuals who have, or are risk of developing diabetes, as well as on communities by supporting projects that help improve diabetes services.