Work by Walsall Healthcare’s Paediatric Diabetes Team to reduce emergency admissions to hospital is making a real impact according to national statistics.
The National Paediatric Diabetes Audit (NPDA) 2016-17 report, which has recently been released, suggests that the team is performing on a par with or better than other diabetes units in the West Midlands as well as others nationally.
Dr Muhammad Javed, Clinical Lead for Paediatric Diabetes, said: “We are working in an area where more than half of the children and young people who live here are classified as being the most deprived in the country.
“This is a much higher proportion compared to the West Midlands as well as nationally (England and Wales). The number of children and young people on insulin pumps in Walsall is also higher. Set against this challenging background the fact that we are seeing a reduction in emergency admissions is a real achievement. I think it is testament to the commitment of our team to provide the best possible care we can by working well together.”
The team received an official commendation from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) last year to acknowledge both the reduction in emergency admissions and an excellent completion rate of mandatory annual care processes for children and young people with diabetes.
Debbie McCausland, Paediatric Diabetes Specialist Nurse and the nurse lead for the team, said: “This is an important milestone for children’s diabetes care here in Walsall.
“The report also details our success in improving the average blood sugar levels of our patients so that they fall within the recommended target of 48 mmol/mol (the measurement used to calculate levels). We are really proud that our efforts are making such an impact.”
Dr Javed added that while the report was encouraging there was still a lot of work to do.
“Based on a detailed local analysis of the data, the diabetes team has already identified that the transition age group (age 16-19 years) needs more attention,” he said.
“We have prepared a business case to extend the diabetes transition service and this will be considered by the Trust Board. If the service is extended it will provide the team with the necessary resources to improve the quality of care provided to children and young people in the transitional age group.”