Podiatrist wins new award for long campaign to improve diabetes foot care in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland
Bronagh Monaghan presentation news item
Bronagh Monaghan is the first winner of the new Patricia Blackburn award for significant contribution and achievement, part of the advancing Healthcare Awards in Northern Ireland.

Bronagh, now retired, was the regional podiatry lead who identified the need to address the service gaps in diabetes foot care. Over the past 35 years she has lobbied for change, worked with commissioners, co-designed a population-based clinical model, secured funding and led the implementation of the regional diabetes foot pathway.

She is a recognised and respected expert throughout Northern Ireland and nationally who inspired and gave confidence to strategic planners in developing the new model. 

Denise Killough, Professional Head of Podiatry Service, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, who nominated Bronagh commented:

‘By successfully challenging the status quo she championed the modernisation of the ‘no more silo’ approach to managing diabetes foot complications. This has helped patients living with diabetes to access care rapidly and so help prevent amputations.’

This new award is in memory of Patricia Blackburn who was an orthoptist, an AHP commissioner in the legacy Southern Board and the Chief AHP Officer in the Department of Health. She was one of the first people in an AHP post in Northern Ireland and was a key person in the development of the AHP community.

Two members of Patricia Blackburn’s family, Austen and Rachel, presented the specially designed trophy at a celebration held on 17 November at the Members' Dining Room at Stormont Buildings.

In the photograph, from left to right are:

  • Austen Blackburn, son of Patricia Blackburn,
  • Denise Nixon, Post Registration Education Commissioning Coordinator for Nursing and Midwifery and AHP, Department of Health Northern Ireland
  • Bronagh Monaghan, winner of the  Patricia Blackburn Award
  • Alison Dunn, joint managing director, Chamberlain Dunn, organisers of the Advancing Healthcare awards
  • Rachel Blackburn, daughter of Patricia Blackburn
  • Michelle Tennyson, Assistant Director, Allied Health Professions and Personal and Public Involvement, Public Health Agency. Michelle takes up the post of Chief AHP Officer, Department of Health, in January.

The Advancing Healthcare Awards

The Advancing Healthcare Awards recognise and reward projects and professionals in the healthcare science and allied health professions that lead innovative healthcare practice and make a real difference to patients’ lives.