Introducing a specialist diabetes sports service at Oxford Children’s Hospital

Summary

Regular exercise is important in maintaining both physical and mental health for children and young people (CYP) with type 1 diabetes (T1DM) – but the great challenge is avoiding potentially disabling hypos, while avoiding highs which can adversely affect performance. To support young sportspeople in the area, Oxford Children's Hospital's specialist Diabetes Sports Clinics are now held twice a year. There has been a 73% reduction in hypos and information is provided on exercise and physiology, diet and food choices and managing insulin doses. Each patient gets a personalised care summary and the team has recently held its first Family Sports Management education session. On user evaluation 93% of families 'strongly agreed' or 'agreed' that they were able to make improvements to their child's care using information from the clinic while 100% were 'very likely' or 'likely' to recommend the clinic to family or friends with T1DM.

Challenge

There is growing recognition of the importance of sports and exercise in CYP with T1DM. Regular exercise helps maintain a healthy cardiovascular system and results in increased insulin sensitivity. The Oxfordshire Paediatric Diabetes Service recognised that there are significant numbers of CYP who are 'elite sportspersons' – performing at competitive levels, or at regional or national level. They train for many hours, and compete regularly, but a number were struggling with hypoglycaemia and this was affecting their confidence in taking part in sport.

Objectives

To establish a supportive environment to nurture the CYPs enthusiasm for sport, helping them become more independent and confident in managing the challenges of sport and diabetes. Establishing an MDT clinic specifically to focus on management of diabetes in those CYP who are competitive sportspeople. To reduce overall occurrence of hypos and aim for an improved/stable HbA1c so that sports performance is optimised.

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QiC Diabetes Commended 2016
Diabetes Team Initiative of the Year
Introducing a specialist diabetes sports service at Oxford Children’s Hospital
by Oxford Children’s Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Contacts

Dr Taffy Makaya

Job title:
Consultant in Paediatric Diabetes & Endocrinology
Place of work:
Oxford Children’s Hospital, OUH University NHS Foundation Trust
Telephone:
01865 231251
Email:
taffy.makaya@ouh.nhs.uk

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