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Children campaign for more specialist nurses

Children from Waltham Abbey are supporting Diabetes UK'scampaign to get more Paediatric Diabetes Specialist Nurses (PDSN) in their area.Aged between 4 and 11, members of the 'saplings' After School Club at the Leverton Infant and Nursery School, coloured in pictures of nurses and sent them to the Chief Executive of their local PCT.

The club has held diabetes awareness days every year since seven-year-old Kirsty Faure who has Type 1 diabetes (one of the 'saplings'), started attending four years ago.

The children learn about diabetes, healthy food and first aid training regarding diabetes.Diabetes UK published a report, in November 2005, highlighting that children with diabetes are still not getting the specialist care they need. This was despite government targets for the NHS to provide high quality paediatric care.

The report also showed that PDSNs are over-stretched with an average case load of over 100 children each. Diabetes UK recommends that the maximum case load should be 70 children to one PDSN.Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK said, "We cannot wait until our children start to lose their sight or need kidney dialysis before we focus on their care.

"Dedicated doctors and nurses are doing their best, but they need the full support of the NHS. It is time resources are provided to supply the best possible specialised care and support for children with diabetes."

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