The key to success in paediatric diabetes care is that children and their families receive consistent messages from clinical staff at all points of the patient’s diabetes journey. The team in Leeds worked in partnership with patients and parents alongside the staff at the University of York to develop a comprehensive training package for healthcare professionals to be delivered annually. A workbook is given to families at the time of a child’s diagnosis which in turn is linked to a website with further useful information about living with diabetes. There is also a series of structured tutorials based on an educational diabetes curriculum, and further education in the form of pump training with a pump workbook, conversation map and review courses. Data demonstrates that patients are satisfied with the self-management education and there have been improved outcomes related to HbA1c results.
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic metabolic condition that is treatable but not curable. Good blood glucose control allows patients to continue a healthy lifestyle. Poor control, particularly in children, is associated with early onset, severe and crippling complications and premature death. Control in the UK, based on the National Paediatric Diabetes Audit (NPDA) is poor compared with many mainland European countries and the main discrepancy appears to be in the diabetes training of the staff delivering the self-management education programme to patients and their families. There are also marked differences in how the education programmes are delivered to these patients/parents, especially at the time of diagnosis.
An important marker of successful management of diabetes is based around the HbA1c test. This is a quantitative reflection of the average blood glucose level over three months. Good control is below 58mmol/mol (7.5 per cent) and poor control is above 75mmol/mol (9.0 per cent). Poor control is associated with the premature development of micro- and macrovascular complications and premature death. The Leeds project aimed to increase the number of children with good HbA1c control and decrease those showing less effective management. This was to be achieved by working with parents/patients through focus groups, the University of York and the Leeds team as a whole to improve the pathway of care from day one of diagnosis for all children with Type 1 diabetes. This included in-patient management, literature at diagnosis, outpatient support and follow up.
Back to the top