Child diabetes care 'lags behind adult'
Diabetes care is improving but many children are still not receiving the right standard of treatment, according to a new study.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) found that many care units in England and Wales are failing to provide crucial health checks for children with diabetes.
Only 6% of children are given the eight key diabetes care processes, which test their eyesight, cholesterol and blood pressure, the RCPCH said. However, half of adults with diabetes receive all these care processes, the report found.
The study was based on findings from the National Paediatric Diabetes Audit, which looked at the treatment of more than 23,000 children and young people with diabetes.
Results indicate that the quality of diabetes care in England and Wales has reached an eight-year high.
But despite these improvements, the RCPCH warned that the number of children admitted to hospital with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) has continued to rise in recent years. DKA admission rates have almost doubled since 2005, from 8.5 per 100,000 people in the general population to 15 per 100,000.
Researchers concluded that many children with diabetes face a postcode lottery when it comes to receiving vital care processes and treatment.
RCPCH consultant in paediatric endocrinology and diabetes, Dr Justin Warner, said there were “significant” differences between individual paediatric diabetes units.
But he added: “Although the proportion of patients receiving all eight care processes remains low, what we’re seeing is improvements in the recording of all eight measures independently.”