The National Assembly for Wales has published a report making 10 recommendations to improve early diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes, thanks to one of our campaigners.
The report follows a petition by our supporter Beth Baldwin and her family.
Beth’s son Peter, 13, passed away due to late diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes in 2015. Since then Beth, her husband Stuart and Peter’s sister Lia, 12, have campaigned tirelessly.
They helped to launch our Know Type 1 campaign to raise awareness of the common symptoms, the 4Ts, and ensure children are diagnosed sooner and more safely, before they come seriously ill. Beth also presented evidence to the Petitions Committee at the Senedd.
Early diagnosis saves lives
The report makes clear that early diagnosis is key to preventing other families losing a child. It recommends GPs routinely ask about the 4Ts, toilet, thirsty, tired, thinner, when they see an unwell child, and that Health Boards and other organisations look into how they can support GPs to refresh their knowledge about the condition.
It also asks the Welsh Government and Health Boards to ensure GPs have access to blood glucose testing equipment, which can confirm a Type 1 diagnosis within seconds.
The Welsh Government now has the opportunity to respond to the report, before a debate in the autumn.
“This is Peter’s legacy”
Beth said, “We are very thankful to the Petitions Committee and everyone involved so far in our mission. This is Peter’s legacy and we are determined to keep working alongside Diabetes UK Cymru to ensure these recommendation are implemented and keep raising awareness, so that no child in Wales dies from late or misdiagnosed Type 1 diabetes.”
Our National Director, Dai Williams, said, “Currently, one in five children in Wales are seriously ill with DKA by the time they are diagnosed. These recommendations and Beth’s tireless work will change that.
“We are excited to see how Welsh Government will respond to these recommendations and hope that they adopt them all.”
Toilet, Thirsty, Tired, Thinner
Look out for the 4Ts: Toilet, Thirsty, Tired, Thinner.
If a child is going to the toilet a lot, has increased thirst which they can’t quench, is more tired than usual or is losing weight (getting thinner) it could be a sign they have undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes.
If a child shows any of these symptoms, they should go to a doctor immediately and ask for a finger-prick test.