Aim To assess the provision of UK paediatric and adolescent diabetes services and examine changes in service delivery since 2002.
Method Questionnaires were sent to the lead paediatric consultant from all paediatric and adolescent diabetes services (n=205). Questions were based on National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines recommendations for diabetes care in childhood. Results were analysed using parametric and non-parametric tests.
Results 129 Services (63%) returned questionnaires involving 220 clinics. Staffing has improved and 98% of consultants have a special interest in diabetes (89%, 2002). In 88% of services, the diabetes specialist nurse worked solely in paediatric diabetes (53%, 2002). Only 21% of clinics have a psychological professional integrated within the diabetes team (20%, 2002). Over 94% of services offered support with intensive insulin regimens causing problems at school for 36% of services. Almost all services offer annual microvascular screening (98–100%) but transitional care was variable; only 76% of services have specific local protocols for transition and 21% organise transfer by letter only.
Conclusion Paediatric and adolescent diabetes services are rising to the challenge of providing high-quality care despite rising prevalence and increasingly complex insulin regimes. Services have improved in a number of key areas but serious deficiencies remain.
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Funding This work was supported by Diabetes UK and ABCD.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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