Prestigious award for leading UHS diabetes consultant ahead of international awareness days

A leading diabetes consultant has scooped a prestigious award for being part of the collaborative team that developed an online education programme to help patients, carers and healthcare workers around the world better understand insulin.

Mayank Patel with award - Nov 2020 Dr Mayank Patel, who provides diabetes care at University Hospital Southampton, spent a year working on the e-learning project alongside colleagues from the University of Southampton’s Faculty of Medicine.

Called ‘Understanding Insulin’, the free four-week course is aimed at teaching people more about insulin and how it works, using patient stories to help bring it to life. It also aims to help reduce the number of insulin-related errors, unfortunately common in the UK, that can increase the chances of harm to patients.

Already it has attracted more than 8,000 people from 120 countries to learn more about insulin.

Now the online course, which runs twice a year via the FutureLearn education platform, has been recognised with a Quality in Care (QiC) Diabetes award that recognises and shares quality and best practice in diabetes management.

The project won the Diabetes Education Programmes – Healthcare Professionals category at the tenth annual QiC Diabetes Awards which took place virtually last month.

Praising the e-resource, the judges said: “This initiative is a truly innovative approach that both bridges a gap in insulin education and can be widely disseminated across the NHS. The fact that this is a free resource that can be used internationally demonstrates the far-reaching effect of this entry. Not only was it innovative, this entry was cost-effective, sustainable and flexible.”

It’s not the first time Dr Patel, 49, has been recognised for his work by QiC. In 2015 he was given the Outstanding Educator in Diabetes award for his work co-developing DiAppbetes - a smartphone application to give diabetes support to clinical staff.

More recently he has also been nominated for awards and recognised by the British Medical Journal and the Royal College of Physicians, for leadership and excellence in patient care.

Dr Patel said: “We are really proud of the online course we have developed. Our hope is that it will help create a better understanding of insulin around the world and ultimately go a long way to improve outcomes for patients through more efficient use of this important medicine. I am both honoured and humbled to have been recognised by the QiC.”

News of the award comes ahead of World Diabetes Day taking place on Saturday November 14. In Hampshire, the Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation will be marking the day by hosting a free all-day conference which anyone is welcome to join. Visit for more information.

To find out more about the Understanding Insulin course visit:

Posted on Friday 13 November 2020