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Diabetes: Children

Volume 485: debated on Tuesday 16 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the Government are taking to assist those with childhood diabetes to cope with the condition. (243080)

Our document “Making Every Young Person with Diabetes Matter”, published in April 2007, drew attention to differences in the management of diabetes in children and young people—which is complex and significantly different from adult care. A copy of the document has already been placed in the Library.

It stated that all children and young people with diabetes should have access to a Children and Young Person Specialist Diabetes (CYPSD) team with appropriate training and competencies; routine care, continuing care and annual assessment; and access to routine and integrated psychological support.

A Children and Young People Diabetes Implementation Support Group has been set up to take forward work on the report's recommendations. The group is chaired by the National Clinical Director for Children, Dr Sheila Shribman, and includes representation from Diabetes UK, Royal Colleges, young people with diabetes, parents and representatives from organisations with an interest in this area, including the Healthcare Commission.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many children of school age have been diagnosed with diabetes; (243011)

(2) what discussions his Department has had with the Department for Children, Schools and Families on improving the provision of healthcare in schools for children with diabetes.

Data for the number of children of school age diagnosed with diabetes are not available. However, estimates suggest there are an estimated 20,000 children with diabetes in England (the vast majority type 1 diabetes), and some experts suggest that there may be up to 1,000 children with type 2 diabetes in England.

In 2005, the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), in close liaison with the Department, issued guidance on Managing Medicines in Schools and Early Years Settings. This guidance explains the roles and responsibilities of employers, parents and carers, governing bodies, head teachers, teachers and other staff, and of local health services. This includes the effective management of long term conditions, like diabetes, while attending school.

We shall, of course, work closely with DCSF on any future revision of the guidance.