Thousands of children and young people in Wales suffering with Type 1 Diabetes will receive improved care thanks to new clinical guidelines published today by Health and Social Services Minister Edwina Hart.
It's the first time in the UK that such guidelines have been drawn up for youngsters suffering from the condition. It will mean more effective management of diabetes with the aim of reducing the incidence of complications in adult life that can result if the condition is left untreated.
Type 1 Diabetes affects just over four per cent of the population in Wales, including more than 1200 children and young people under the age of 16. Complications of the condition include eye disease, blindness, kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, strokes and vascular disease which can result in amputation of the limbs.
The management of children and young people across Wales with Type 1 Diabetes is already of a high standard, but the issue that requires attention in some areas is the transitional care from paediatric to adult care. The guidelines are designed to address this issue.
Edwina Hart said:
There is no form of cure for Type 1 Diabetes and the complications that can result from a lack of the most effective treatment can be devastating.
ThatÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s why the Government is committed to improving standards of care for young people suffering from the condition.
These new guidelines will mean that services for children and young people with Type 1 Diabetes will be planned, organised and delivered in the most effective way and, by guaranteeing high quality treatment, reduce inequalities in care across Wales.
The guidance was drawn up by the Brecon Group, an all-Wales Paediatric Diabetes interest group facilitated by the Assembly Government.
Judi Bowsher, National Director, Diabetes UK Cymru, said:
Diabetes is a serious, life-long condition affecting many young people in Wales. We very much welcome these new guidelines, which will help to standardise care, and look forward to their full implementation.
Additional guidelines for the management of children and young people with Type 2 Diabetes will be developed once specific national and international guidelines have been published.