20 August 2018

Learning Disability Nurse shortlisted for ‘Nurse of the Year’ award for developing diabetes app

Adam Bennett Sugar Choice Nursingaward

A Learning Disabilities Nurse from Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust has been shortlisted for a national award for developing an app which helps teach people how to identify sugar levels in different foods.

Registered Learning Disability Nurse (RNLD), Adam Bennett, who works at Callington Road Hospital, in Bristol, is one of the finalists for the Nursing Times Awards 2018 Nurse of the Year award, after creating an app which is designed to give people with learning disabilities a simple, fun and interactive way to learn about sugar levels in food and healthier alternatives.

Diabetes is up to four times more prevalent in people with learning disabilities and nutritional information on packaging can often be complicated and presented in ways which can be difficult to understand.
Sugar Choice, which has been created for Android phones and tablets, has been developed in line with national Accessible Information Standards outlined by NHS England. The free touch screen app presents images of two foods simultaneously and asks the user to tap on whichever they think has the least amount of sugar present, challenging perceptions of everyday foods and teaching users about how to make healthier decisions by direct comparison.

Speaking about the nomination, Adam said: "I am delighted to have been shortlisted for such a prestigious award. Not only does the nomination recognise the work which has gone into developing the app, it also demonstrates the level of importance placed on supporting good health and reducing sugar consumption, particularly in people who have learning disabilities. We know that diabetes is a huge drain on the NHS and this is a simple way to help people reduce the amount of sugar they consume in a fun and accessible way."

Part of Public Health England's central campaigns strategy is to educate and encourage the public to eat a balanced and healthy diet, which is especially important for people at risk of type-2 diabetes. Sugar Choice, whilst designed to suit the needs of those with learning disabilities, is a fun and useful tool for anyone wanting to educate themselves and make informed decisions with regards to their diet.

For his work on Sugar Choice Adam has been nominated and shortlisted for this year's Nursing Times Award 2018 for 'Nurse of the Year' in the 'Learning Disability Nurse' category. He will attend the award ceremony in October.

The app works on any Android phone or tablet and can be downloaded free from Google's Play Store, with a compatible version for iPhones and iPad being developed.
Link to download page: www.sugarfreeapps.co.uk

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