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Diabetes care for children and young people in Wales is improving, a new report shows.

First published:
2 May 2017
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

The Annual Statement of Progress for Diabetes highlights that the number of children and young people with Type 1 diabetes achieving blood glucose in the target range has increased from 17.8 % (2014-15) to 27.2% (2015-16).

Meanwhile, the number of these with high blood glucose levels reduced from 21.6% (2014-15) to 18.6% (2015-16).

The rates of young people undergoing essential key care processes such as foot and kidney checks have also improved.

The report also shows:

  • A decrease in the rate of people dying from cardiovascular disease, which has a high prevalence among people with diabetes
  • Improved care for patients in hospital people with diabetes, with a decrease in the average length of stay 
  • Better opportunities for patients to inform diabetes services
  • Improved care for pregnant women with diabetes
  • The success of the diabetic retinopathy screening service 
  • The ‘Think Glucose’ project is supporting quality improvement of patient care whilst in a hospital
The report sets out the progress made against the Diabetes Delivery Plan. Speaking ahead of a debate later today [Tuesday 2 May] on diabetes services in Wales, Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething, said:

“This report demonstrates that paediatric diabetes care has made significant strides in the quality of care and the outcomes being achieved over the past six years. The impact of the improvement in blood glucose levels, as well as those in some essential care processes, will reduce the risk of future complications significantly. This is good news for children and young people.

“As well as the improvements in paediatric diabetes care, we have seen improved hospital care, a decrease in the rate of people dying from cardiovascular disease, and better engagement with patients.

“One of our key aims over the coming years will be to continue to work closely with the public on prevention. While there are no lifestyle factors associated with Type 1 diabetes, we must all reduce our risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by being active,  eating a healthy balanced diet and maintaining a healthy body weight.”  

Dr Andrew Goodall, Chief Executive of NHS Wales, said:

“Diabetes can have a major impact on the physical and psychological well-being of individuals and their families. However with careful management, healthy lifestyle choices and good blood glucose control the risks of complications are markedly reduced. 

“During 2015-16 there was continued progress in the care of patients with diabetes in Wales. At an all Wales level, there have been infrastructure improvements including the creation of a number of national leadership posts and delivery structures.

“However, we continue to work to ensure standards are consistently high across the system and that people get the support they need. Ensuring adults with diabetes receive all eight health checks is a priority, which is why we are working with the NHS to ensure the checks are completed and providing more diabetes education opportunities so people are better able to self-manage their condition.”