Diabetes UK launches new Care in School Helpline
Diabetes UK has launched a new helpline, available to families across South Wales, to make sure that children with Type 1 diabetes get the support they need to make the most of their time at school. The new helpline is supported by the charity’s National Charity Partnership with Tesco and will provide phone and email support to parents who are trying to get the care their child is entitled to at school.
The helpline has been launched as part of the charity’s Type 1 diabetes: Make the Grade campaign, which aims to make sure children with Type 1 diabetes are healthy and happy at school.
The charity says that while some schools were already doing a good job of supporting children with Type 1 diabetes there are still too many examples of children with the condition struggling to get the support that they need.
Difficulties they have encountered include teachers refusing to give them help with administering insulin or not allowing them to have a snack to treat dangerously high or low blood glucose levels. Crises in their condition can go unsupported and in the worst cases their health can be put at serious risk.
Some children also face discrimination in relation to school trips and extra-curricular activities, which means they are effectively excluded from leading a full and active school life. As part of Type 1 diabetes: Make the Grade, Diabetes UK has also produced free advice packs for schools to help them give children and young people the best possible care. Free information packs are also available for parents, which outline what care they should expect in schools. Both packs are available in Welsh and English.
Sally Caldwell, Diabetes UK Care in School Helpline Manager, said: “Our new helpline will ensure parents are supported in getting the help children with diabetes need during the school day.
“We know that while many schools offer fantastic support for children with Type 1 diabetes, some parents can really struggle to get the support that their child needs to make the most of their time at school.
“Our volunteers will be able to let parents know what support their children should be getting from their school, how they can make an official complaint and answers to important questions such as what should be in their child’s Individual Healthcare Plan’.
“All our volunteers for the new helpline have been specially selected and fully trained and will have some experience of diabetes. They may be parents themselves of a child with diabetes or they may have Type 1 diabetes and understand the day to day practicalities of living with the condition.”
To order a free school or parents pack or contact the Care in School Helpline, call 0345 123 2399 or go to www.diabetes.org.uk/schools.