CYP Wales Diabetes Network highlights achievements and future goals in 2nd Annual Report

Originally published Thursday 26th July 2018

Annual_Report_2017_Cover.jpgThe Children & Young People’s Wales Diabetes Network (& Brecon Group) has published its second annual report – with audit data included for every paediatric diabetes team in Wales.

“This report actually covers 16 months, to bring our story as a Network right up to the end of 2017,” explains Dr Chris Bidder, the outgoing Chair and Clinical Lead of the Network, who stepped down in summer 2018.

“We have had a delay in publishing this report, because the National Paediatric Diabetes Audit (NPDA) was not published in April as planned. We wanted to include all the most relevant audit data for our Network, so have had to wait until now to publish this report.”

“Comparing the services and outcomes from teams around Wales is very important to us as a Network. All our teams want to provide the best possible care to children and young people with diabetes, and benchmarking our services like this helps us to understand where we can learn from each other and improve.”

The Network report includes an article by Louise, who told her story at the Network meeting in February 2017. She says, “I was startled to be asked to share my experiences as a young person with Type 1 diabetes. I was incredibly thankful for the opportunity and the encouraging reception, which has continued to impact my life.”

Improving the experiences of children and young people is one of the key aims of the Network. The report’s front cover shows ‘What diabetes means to me’ by Ivy, age 6. Ivy has drawn herself at the centre of an array of diabetes kit – everything from a blood glucose monitor through to jelly babies – while another girls asks “Wow, what’s that?”

“Children with diabetes often feel different to their peers,” explains Dr Chris Bidder. “Many of our Network projects focus on helping them to overcome this difference and go through life without feeling like the odd one out. Our Network focus on changing the way young people with diabetes are included in school activities, and our award-winning educational programme, SEREN, both have a central message that Type 1 diabetes does not have to prevent you from achieving anything.”

Other key projects from 2017 include:

  • A successful pilot activity week in partnership with the Outward Bound Trust
  • A national quality improvement training programme, which included staff from all health boards in Wales
  • The launch of a new all-Wales ‘Standard’ for services when young people move from paediatric to adult services

The report also includes greater detail on service provision across Wales, including the number of children using insulin pumps to manage their diabetes. “We have seen improvement across Wales, in terms of the key care processes that every child needs to receive,” says Dr Bidder.

“We have also seen a downwards trend in HbA1c, which is one of the key outcome indicators because it shows levels of blood glucose over time. Reducing blood glucose levels to target values is one of the best ways of reducing risks of diabetes complications and we know that getting it right in childhood has a long-lasting protective effect on the health of people lasting well into adulthood.”

“We have very good news to report, in that our units we are matching outcomes achieved in England, and the variation between units in wales is also reducing. This is down to the hard work of paediatric teams, in partnership with young people, parents and families.”

The Network report concludes with a brief summary of future plans and workstreams, including the establishment of a national out of hours advice service, improving diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes, and developing new modules for the SEREN structured education course.