Recommendations for better diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes in children and young people accepted by Welsh Government
Huge campaign victory for Cardiff family and Diabetes UK Cymru
- Peter Baldwin’s legacy will help other children with the condition
Recommendations to ensure better diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes in children and young people were accepted by the Welsh Government on 3 October after a long-standing campaign by a Cardiff family and Diabetes UK Cymru.
The recommendations followed a petition submitted to the Welsh Assembly by the Baldwin family that called for the measures to be introduced after their son Peter, 13, passed away in 2015, because his Type 1 diabetes was not diagnosed in time.
Since then the Baldwins have campaigned tirelessly with support from Diabetes UK Cymru to raise awareness of the condition, hosting a multitude of fundraising events and giving evidence at the Senedd.
The petition highlighted the urgent need for early detection of Type 1 diabetes. People with Type 1 diabetes cannot produce the hormone insulin, which controls the amount of glucose in the blood. It is not preventable and there is currently no cure, but can be managed if diagnosed.
Around 1,400 children and young people in Wales have the condition, but one in four are not diagnosed until they are seriously unwell with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a life-threatening condition requiring urgent medical attention.
Under the recommendations healthcare professionals are encouraged to enhance their knowledge of Type 1 diabetes. Questions about the symptoms of the condition, also known as the 4Ts (Toilet, Thirsty, Tired, Thinner) should be routinely asked when children and young people who are unwell visit their doctor.
The recommendations also called for thorough reviews of cases of Type 1 diabetes that are diagnosed after the onset of DKA.
Beth Baldwin, Peter Baldwin’s mother, said: “This is a huge victory and we are so glad that Peter’s legacy will have long-lasting and life changing effects for hundreds of children and families in Wales. This was a huge team effort and we are thankful to Diabetes UK Cymru and the Petitions Committee for supporting us every step of the way.
“No family in Wales should have to lose a child to undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes. Knowing the symptoms can save a child’s life. We are now looking forward to action and the life-saving changes that will follow.”
Dai Williams, National Director, Diabetes UK Cymru said: “We are thrilled that the Welsh Government have welcomed the recommendations made by the Petitions Committee. Early diagnosis of Type 1 is crucial when it comes to making sure that children across Wales are diagnosed before becoming seriously unwell.
“The Welsh Government’s acceptance of the report’s recommendations is a huge step forward which will ensure that many children and families across Wales receive the diagnosis and care they need. Diabetes UK Cymru would like to thank the Baldwins and the Petitions Committee for helping us in our endeavour to create a world where diabetes can do no harm.”
To find out more about the Diabetes UK Cymru ‘Know Type 1’ campaign visit https://www.diabetes.org.uk/