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20,000 children with diabetes not getting the care they need to achieve good control

More than 85 per cent of children and young people with diabetes in England and Wales are not achieving recommended blood glucose levels.

This means some 20,000 risk devastating complications in later life unless urgent steps are taken to help improve their diabetes management, according to the largest ever paediatric diabetes audit published today (Wednesday 14 July).

To help tackle this problem, Diabetes UK has issued a major research call for interventions to improve diabetes care and management, and is encouraging applications aimed at overcoming barriers to good diabetes care and/or supported self-management.

Only four per cent receive all eight basic checks

The National Diabetes Paediatric Audit, by the NHS Information Centre, also shows that the highest proportion of people with high blood glucose levels were those aged 12 to 24. In addition, only four per cent of this age group received all the eight basic annual health checks including blood glucose, foot and eye checks. The full report can be downloaded from theNHS Information Centre.

Barbara Young, Chief Executive at Diabetes UK, said, "The results of this audit cannot leave us in any doubt that urgent action is needed to improve diabetes care and management for children and young people. Of all people with diabetes, teenagers have the worst control. This can partly be explained by the high rate of not attending clinic and poor transitional care from paediatric to adult services, where many are 'lost' in the system.

Overcoming barriers to patient engagement

"As part of our major research call, Diabetes UK is calling on healthcare professionals and researchers to submit innovative research proposals that will specifically look into overcoming barriers to patient engagement, such as teenage non-attendance or projects to help patients achieve good blood glucose control.

"Our investment in research has the potential to help health services develop care which caters for the very complex and specific needs of younger people. Giving them the start they need to manage their diabetes for the rest of their lives means a generation of children do not have to face a future of devastating health complications."

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