Our diabetes service for children and young people recently won a prestigious Health Service Journal award in the category of Enhancing Quality and Efficiency in Services for Children and Young People earning nationwide recognition.
“Our aim is simple – it’s about making every young person with diabetes matter”, says Rebecca Thompson the only consultant nurse for children and young people’s diabetes in the country.
With over 22,000 0 – 17 year olds with diabetes in England and a predicted doubling of new cases of Type 1 diabetes in the under fives by 2020, the challenge to provide a service that meets the needs of young patients and their families is a significant undertaking.
“Putting the needs of our young patients – and their families – not just their diabetes, is the focus of everything we do”, adds Rebecca who works in a multi-disciplinary team that includes experts in medicine, nursing, psychology, dietetics, play specialists, podiatry and ophthalmology.
“We offer patients choice, for example, as well as the standard method of delivering insulin via multiple injections, we are one of a few centres that offer the use of insulin pumps which provide a steady stream of insulin directly into the bloodstream so it’s up to patients to choose which suits them better. We also arrange our clinics so that patients see the member of the team that they want to see. This was put in place after our patients told us that they found it frustrating having to get to know new people each time”.
Helping patients lead a ‘normal’ life as possible is another key aim, “By offering training to staff working in schools and to GPs we can help ensure that children and young people with diabetes are supported and cared for safely in the community, not just in hospital”.
The statistics speak for themselves – the results of HbA1C blood sugars over three months – an indicator of the quality of care, is very good compared to the national average* but it’s the patient feedback that says it all. Rebecca explains “Forty families got together to write us a big thank you letter recently which was just amazing. Their comments mean everything to us, and are the greatest incentive for us to keep working hard to provide the best possible service”.
UCLH, without it being an exaggeration, saved my family from years of frustration, isolation and complication. They gave me hope and help when I needed it most and they have made me their number 1 fan!!!
The care that my daughter gets at UCLH is gold standard, in her own words she feels safe with them, she loves how they listen & speak to her & don’t just ignore her.
UCLH have changed our lives - saved our lives. Our first year of D has been horrific but it's only been in the last couple of months that there's been some light at the end of this dark, dark tunnel and that light has been UCLH.
I didn’t know what a 'good' team was until we joined UCLH
To find out more about this service, including how to refer, please visit the children and young people’s diabetes service pages
* National Diabetes Audit (2012) Paediatric report