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Improved clinical practice but continuing service deficiencies following a regional audit of childhood diabetes mellitus
  1. A J Drakea,
  2. J H Baumerb
  1. aTaunton and Somerset Hospital, Musgrove Park, Taunton, Somerset, UK, bDerriford Hospital, Plymouth PL6 8DH, UK
  1. Dr A J Drake, The Royal Hospital for Sick Children, St Michael's Hill, Bristol, UK


AIM To assess the changes in services for children with diabetes in the south west of England between two regionwide audits performed in 1994 and 1998.

METHODS Questionnaires were sent to consultant paediatricians, specialist diabetes nurses, dietitians, and Local Diabetes Service Advisory Groups. Information was gathered on consultant and nursing caseload, clinic structure, dietetic and psychological services, glycated haemoglobin use, and screening services.

RESULTS In 1994 there were 21 consultant paediatricians caring for children with diabetes, only seven of whom fulfilled the British Paediatric Association definition of a specialist. By 1998 there were 14, 12 of whom fulfilled this definition. In 1994 a significant number of children were being seen in general paediatric clinics; by 1998 all centres stated that children were being seen in designated diabetes clinics. Between the two audits, despite a decrease in the average caseload of specialist diabetes nurses, nursing services in many centres remained deficient, as did dietetic and psychology services. Glycated haemoglobin use increased from 16 of 21 consultants to all consultants. In 1998 there was still patchy paediatric representation on Local Diabetes Service Advisory Groups.

CONCLUSIONS The 1994 audit was followed by a change in clinical practice, in contrast to continuing deficiencies in resources, despite the availability of national recommendations and the widespread distribution of the audit report to those in a position of influence.

  • diabetes mellitus
  • audit
  • quality of care

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