Home / About

About this Project

This website has emerged as a result of a research project funded by a Bridges grant from the International Diabetes Federation (Bridges, an International Diabetes Federation Project, is supported by an educational grant from Lilly Diabetes). As part of this project researchers from Queen’s University Belfast worked with women with gestational diabetes and with healthcare professionals from Diabetes Care teams in Belfast and Manchester to explore the experiences, knowledge and needs of women with gestational diabetes. Findings from focus groups with women were used to direct the content and tone of an educational resource aimed at enhancing knowledge and relieving anxiety among women recently diagnosed with gestational diabetes. This educational resource evolved from a collaborative approach between women with gestational diabetes, a healthcare professional project steering committee, researchers and a professional production company. This resource has been evaluated in a randomised controlled trial among women with gestational diabetes in three NHS trusts; Belfast Health and Social Care trust, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust and Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Feedback from women participating in the trial who viewed the resource (in DVD format) was extremely positive prompting the project team to convert the DVD to a website. This website explains what gestational diabetes is, explores issues around living with gestational diabetes and focuses on the importance of a healthy lifestyle after gestational diabetes. Practical guides are available in relation to blood glucose monitoring and administering insulin. There is an interactive ‘eatwell plate’ to encourage healthy eating and a BMI calculator to help women to assess their current BMI.

Thanks to all the women who took part in this project, the staff in the clinics and ‘the extras’.

Project Team

  • Dr Valerie Holmes (Principal Investigator), School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Dr Claire Draffin (Lead Research Fellow) Queen’s University Belfast
  • Professor David McCance, Consultant Endocrinologist, Belfast Health and Care Trust
  • Professor Roy Harper, Consultant Endocrinologist, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust
  • Dr Michael Maresh, Consultant Obstetrician, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Professor Fiona Alderdice, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Professor Chris Patterson, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast

Research Fellows

Dr Claire Draffin (Lead Research Fellow), Dr Sarah Brennan, Dr Aisling Gough and Dr Oonagh McSorley; School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast.

Project Steering Committee

Members of the Project team and the following Healthcare Professionals

  • South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust: Dr Tracey McCourt (GP with specialist interest in Diabetes), Lynne Thomas (Diabetes Specialist Dietitian)
  • Belfast Health and Care Trust: Joanne Quinn (Diabetes Specialist Nurse), Dr Mark Davies (Consultant Clinical Psychologist)
  • Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: Sue Curtis (Diabetes Specialist Dietitian), Susan Quinn (Diabetes Specialist Midwife), Giovanna Bernatavicius (Research Nurse)
  • Queen’s University Belfast: Claire Hughes (Lecturer in Midwifery), Dr Michelle Spence (Research Fellow)

Production Company

Morrow Communications, Holywood, Co. Down. Northern Ireland.