Addenbrooke’s specialist endocrinology services ranked best in UK

In their annual specialist hospital rankings, Newsweek has rated the specialist diabetes and endocrinology services at Addenbrooke’s Hospital as the best in the UK, and 20th internationally. Patients attending clinics through this service benefit not only from the expertise of leading clinicians, but also from the state-of-the-art research programme supported by clinical academics and research partners through the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre (NIHR Cambridge BRC).

Dr Tony Coll, Service Lead at the Wolfson Diabetes and Endocrine Clinic (WDEC) at Addenbrooke’s said: “This recognition is a testament to many decades of focused effort to meaningfully link academic efforts with high quality patient care.

WDEC is at the forefront in using new technologies such as insulin pumps and glucose sensors to improve the lives of people with diabetes.  WDEC is contained within the Wellcome-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science (IMS), a purpose-built centre dedicated to research and clinical care in the areas of diabetes, endocrinology and related diseases. Close collaboration between researchers and clinicians through the NIHR Cambridge BRC, IMS and other research partners has enabled translation of advances in research of the genetic basis, diagnosis and treatment of disorders of insulin and thyroid hormone action into clinical practice.

For children up to 15 years, the Weston Children’s Diabetes and Endocrine Service provides excellent clinical care both during childhood and transition whilst benefitting from the most recent advances in translational research. Major advances pioneered in collaboration between research partners and the services include closed loop insulin delivery (the ‘artificial pancreas’) and strategies to detect and prevent early complications through the AdDIT trial

The ‘artificial pancreas’ works by combining an insulin pump with constant glucose monitoring via a sensor fitted on the skin.  The sensor sends information about the level of glucose in the blood to an app that directs the insulin pump to maintain the correct dosage of insulin.  Together, these technologies significantly simplify life for people with type 1 diabetes, particularly during night and for very young patients. 

Cambridge is also a lead in a major EU consortium (INNODIA) which supports research with people newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and their relatives, including access to clinical studies and trials designed to prevent further progression following diagnosis. 

Professor Sir Stephen O’Rahilly MD FRS FMedSci, Co-Director of the Wellcome-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science and Scientific Director, NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre said of the ranking: “The Wellcome-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science was created with the vision of linking basic and applied research in endocrine and metabolic diseases with excellent clinical care. The Newsweek ranking provides evidence that the Institute is being recognised by colleagues around the world for the quality and inventiveness of its work at the interface between research and patient care.

Prof Miles Parkes, Director of the NIHR Cambridge BRC, congratulated the team, saying: “This recognition clearly reflects the hard work of the endocrinology theme and partners, leading innovative discovery science and integrating it into world-leading clinical care.  The vital importance of translational research and its clinical implementation is sometimes less heralded, but the diabetes and endocrine team have demonstrated how critical it is to improving patient outcomes and supporting the NHS. They are truly deserving of the recognition they have received for their work.”

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