Royal College of Nursing Representing nurses and nursing, promoting excellence in practice, shaping health policies

Meet the Team

Sonia Wijesundare

Sonia Wijesundare

Diabetes Forum Chair

Diabetes Nurse Consultant, Harrow Community Diabetes Service - Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust

Sonia currently works as the Diabetes Nurse Consultant and provide both clinical and operational leadership to the Harrow Community Diabetes Team. The service is nurse led with consultant support. The service is commissioned to provide care and support for people with type 2 diabetes in Harrow. 

Sonia has over 15 years of experience in the field of diabetes. She is a Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale scholar. As a Mary Seacole scholar, she explored how to increase access and improve health outcomes for Arabic speakers in North Kensington. During her Florence Nightingale International Travel Scholarship she explored the importance of providing culturally relevant diabetes care, and gained experience at Joslin Diabetes Centre in Boston USA and Diabetes Association in Sri Lanka.  She has made significant contribution to improve diabetes health outcomes for people from BAME background through service development, patient education and professional education. Sonia is committed to provide the highest quality of safe patient care and empower people with diabetes to achieve self-management.

Sonia is a Queen's Nurse and is currently the chair of the RCN Diabetes forum.

Email Sonia

Samantha Kelly

Samantha Kelly (nee Rosindale)

Diabetes Nurse Consultant for Merton & Wandsworth, Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust

Sam currently leads the mobilisation and implementation of Tier 3 (intermediate) Diabetes specialist community services for the London Boroughs of Merton & Wandsworth. The services have a multi-disciplinary team (Consultant, Diabetes Specialist Nurses (DSN), Dietitians & Podiatrists) who manage patients with Type 1 and 2 diabetes. Her service also provides face to face & virtual clinics within GP surgeries to enable upskilling and partnership working in Tiers 1 & 2 (primary care) for GP’s, Practice Nurses and Community Nurses. Structured group education is also delivered (DESMOND & DAFNE) in a variety of settings.

With experience in ward management, Care of the Older Person and General Medicine, Sam has worked in the NHS since 1985. She has specialised in diabetes since 1996. 

Sam has obtained a Masters Degree in Diabetes, is an Independent Nurse Prescriber and a Queen’s Nurse. 

Charlotte Gordon

Charlotte Gordon

Senior Lecturer - Adult Nursing  

MSc (Clin Res), PG Cert. (Ed), FHEA, Adv. Dip (Nurs), RN, BSc (Hons)

Following an initial grounding in biological sciences, Charlotte has been a registered nurse since 2003, working clinically across intensive care settings and then moving to focus on the management and delivery of clinical trials within the NHS.  Charlotte has experience of working collaboratively across the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries both nationally and internationally in the 
development of novel therapeutics for people living with Diabetes. Working with the North East and Cumbria Diabetes Research Network and at the UKCRF Clinical Research Facility, Newcastle afforded the opportunity to contribute to the UK Islet Cell transplant programme, longitudinal Diabetes risk studies and also the development of immunotherapies for people with Diabetes. 

Currently in post as a senior lecturer in Adult Nursing at Northumbria University leading and providing high quality education and support to pre and post registration nursing students across a broad range of subject areas. Charlotte has also developed and leads the accredited prevention and management of Diabetes continuing professional development module, for post registration nurses at 
Northumbria University and acts within the department as a Diabetes educator, linking with a variety of pre and post registration nursing programmes. 

Charlotte actively researches and publishes within the Diabetes field and was awarded a Master of Clinical Research by the University of Newcastle in 2011.  Her qualitative research project explored risk, knowledge and educational approaches in the non-diabetic offspring of people with type II diabetes. Charlotte is now working at doctoral level to investigate the biopsychosocial impact of wearable technologies for people living with type 1 diabetes. Charlotte maintains close links with clinical practice and is responsive to educational needs, believing passionately that all nurses should have 
access to flexible, high quality educational resources for Diabetes education to enhance professional knowledge, deliver the highest standards of care and ensure patient safety."

Sarah Orme

Sarah Orme

Diabetes Service Manager and Clinical Lead,  Midlands Partnership NHS Trust
Sarah currently leads the community service both operationally and clinically across Staffordshire  The service provides multi-disciplinary clinics (Consultant, Diabetes Specialist Nurses, Dietitians, IAPT),for patients with Type 1(including pump, CGMS and Libre) and 2 diabetes. Her service also provides face to face & virtual clinics within GP surgeries to enable upskilling and partnership working for GP’s, Practice Nurses and Community Nurses. It also delivers structured education programme DESMOND and BERTIE.  
Following an interest in diabetes as a Practice Nurse, Sarah became a diabetes nurse 17 years ago, working within the private sector as well as primary and secondary care. She has been in employment with MPFT since 2008 and in her current post since 2013. As well as managing the service and staff Sarah supports pump clinics, and has a special interest in Type 1 Diabetes and the increasing use of Technology and is passionate about delivering professional education. 
Sarah qualified as an RGN (Adult DipHE) in 1997, attained a BSc (Hons) in Nursing Studies  in 2005, Independent / Supplementary nurse prescribing qualification in 2009 and completed her MSc in Health Science with a diabetes focus in 2019. She is an Executive Board Member for the NHS Diabetes Programme and a member of the Midlands Diabetes Interest Group. 

Paula Johnston

Paula Johnston

Lead inpatient diabetes nurse at the University Hospital Southampton

Paula Johnston leads a team of 4 inpatient DSN's, working in a multidisciplinary team alongside Consultants, SPR's, Pharmacist, podiatrists and Dietitians.

She has been working as a DSN for 9 years and was the project manager for the self-administration of insulin project.  Paula is also the genetic diabetes nurse for the Wessex region and has been undertaking this role for the past 3 years.

Paula is an independent prescriber and is currently working towards her MSc in Diabetes through Leicester University.

Prior to her role in diabetes, Paula was a ward sister on an adult admissions unit as well as having a role as a clinical practice educator, during which she obtained her post graduate certificate in education (PGCE).

Agnes Graja

Agnieszka Graja MSc

Diabetes Nurse Consultant

Works as a primary care Diabetes Nurse Consultant and Regional Genetic Diabetes Nurse in Poole, Dorset.  Agnes has started her DSN carrier in 2006 and soon after she joined GDN network. She has become NMP in 2009 and gained her PGCert in genetic counselling. She has completed the DUK Clinical Champion programme in 2017-2019. She has recently joined the ArT1st team: Celebrating Talents of T1 Diabetes Community During COVID-19 Pandemic which received Spirit of the time QiC award 2020.

She is currently studying towards her Painting Degree at Open Collage of the Arts and has join RCN Diabetes Forum Steering Group Committee this year for 2 years. 

Email Agnes.


Helen Donovan


Professional Lead: Helen Donovan


Helen Donovan RCN Professional Lead for Public health, supports the RCN public health and diabetes forums, she has a wide sphere of influence; supporting members, promoting professional networks and sharing good practice. 

The professional lead role is across the UK and involves providing evidence for policy makers, commissioners and providers, influencing policy development.

Helen’s work particularly involves supporting nurses working in a variety of specialist public health roles but also the wider nursing workforce to embrace their public health contribution. She also maintains a senior lecturer position at the University of Hertfordshire and lectures independently on vaccination and public health. She also has a role with North London STP and Barnet CCG in supporting nursing workforce.

Page last updated - 02/07/2021