A national networked approach to improving care and outcomes in children and young people with diabetes in England

Summary

In an attempt to address the lack of a standardised approach to healthcare for children and young people (CYP) with type 1 diabetes issue, 10 regional CYP diabetes networks were set up with support from NHS Diabetes. These networks together form the National CYP Diabetes Network to share good practice and maintain high quality standards. Working in conjunction with the Department of Health, the National CYP Diabetes Network has recognised the need to develop a five-year National Paediatric Diabetes Service Improvement Delivery Plan to help improve outcomes and the quality and safety of care. Achievements so far include assisting the development of the 13 Care Standards set out in the Best Practice Tariff and to develop the National Peer Review Quality Assurance Programme. A patient/carer reference group has also been set up under the name Families with Diabetes National Network.

Challenge

The NHS Outcomes Framework describes the outcomes and indicators that will be used to hold NHS organisations to account. The focus remains on delivering improved quality, which will be achieved by streamlining the patient pathway while maintaining tight financial control. This is against a background of rising demand, changing demography, new technologies and increasing expectations.

There is currently no comprehensive standardised approach to health care for children and young people (CYP) with Type 1 insulin dependent diabetes. In 2009, 10 regional networks were established and together they form the National CYP Diabetes Network. 

Currently there are 165 paediatric diabetes units (PDUs) delivering care in different ways with varying outcomes. Working with NHS Diabetes and the Department of Health, the national network has written a five-year National Paediatric Diabetes Service Improvement Delivery Plan.

Objectives

The National Children and Young Peoples Diabetes Network was set up in 2009 to provide consistent, high quality diabetes care to children, young people and their families. Although 13 work streams were identified in the national plan, the three most important were identified to start as soon as possible as they were deemed essential to support development of the remaining ten.

The three work streams given priority were: to help develop the 13 care standards set out in the Best Practice Tariff; to assist development of quality measures to be embedded in a National CYP Diabetes Peer Review Programme; and to encourage development of the Families with Diabetes National Network. 

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