Meet Merton's New Diabetes Champion

Pharmacist Rajiv will help transform care for local people with diabetes

Rajiv Dhir

A pharmacist has been selected as a Diabetes UK Clinical Champion, to help transform care for people living with diabetes in the Merton area.


Mr Rajiv Dhir, deputy chief pharmacist for Merton CCG, was chosen for his passion for, and commitment to, excellence in diabetes care.


Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. There are 11,160 of people living with diabetes in Merton. If not managed well, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to serious complications such as sight loss, amputation, kidney failure and stroke.


Diabetes care can vary widely in different regions, and many people struggle to access the vital services they need to manage their condition well. As a clinical champion, Rajiv will join a two-year leadership development programme, supported by Diabetes UK. Through his training, he will identify areas in need of improvement and drive vital changes to the diabetes services that people in Merton receive.


Rajiv said: “I am looking forward to my new role as a Diabetes UK Clinical Champion and to work as a positive partner with primary care clinicians, secondary care clinicians and commissioners to deliver the most effective, personalised patient-centred care.


“By individualising treatment in frail older adults with Type 2 diabetes it is hoped that both outcomes and patient experience will be improved.”


Rajiv is one of 20 UK healthcare professionals, including consultants, nurses, GPs, dietitians, podiatrists, pharmacists and psychologists to be appointed as clinical champions this year.

Roz Rosenblatt, London head for Diabetes UK, said: “Investing in training and upskilling healthcare professionals can help reduce the number of serious diabetes-related complications, and in turn the devastating personal – and economic – costs they bring.


“Clinical champions such as Rajiv play a critical role in improving the treatment and support people with diabetes receive so that they can lead long and healthy lives.”


The award-winning Clinical Champions programme provides leadership development to healthcare professionals, enabling them to improve diabetes care and bring innovative solutions to local problems. There are now 105 champions across the UK who have access to a network of like-minded clinicians with whom they can share expertise, experience and best practice.


If you are interested in becoming a Diabetes UK Clinical Champion for the 2020-2022 intake please contact or call 020 7424 1052. This is a Diabetes UK project in collaboration with Novo Nordisk which is providing support and funding.


August 20, 2019