Young people miss out on diabetes health checks

Nearly three quarters of teenagers and young people in England and Wales with diabetes are not receiving all the health checks they need, suggests new research.

The audit, carried out by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, revealed that just 25.4 per cent of children and young people aged 12 to 24 were getting all seven annual checks, including blood pressure, cholesterol, kidney function, foot and eye health tests, outlined in NICE guidelines.

However, the report also found that the the vast majority of children and young people had received their blood glucose tests (98.7%). In addition, the number of youngsters getting all seven checks, achieving target blood glucose levels and reducing their risk of future complications was steadily increasing.

Bridget Turner, Diabetes UK director of policy and care improvement, commented: “There are still many children and young people with diabetes who are not achieving recommended blood glucose targets, or receiving all the checks they should.

There remains considerable variation in the level of care provided. This is very worrying because if children and young people are not supported to manage their diabetes well in early life, they are more likely to be at risk of debilitating and life-threatening complications in adult life such as amputations, blindness and stroke.

It is essential that local services continue on their improvement journey working with and supporting children and young people with type one diabetes and their parents and carers, to be fully engaged in their care.”

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