Hackney has the highest percentage of children in England attending hospital for a serious diabetic illness because they are not being adequately supported by their local health services, according to a leading diabetes charity.
A new NHS report suggests that nearly half of the children with diabetes treated by City and Hackney PCT have been admitted to hospital in the last few years for Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).
“This is a worrying finding – these children and their parents are not receiving the care they need to help them manage the diabetes and avoid DKA,” said Roz Rosenblatt of Diabetes UK.
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) can be caused by blood glucose levels being too high for a long time, and can be fatal if not treated.
According to the report, 47% of children with diabetes treated by City and Hackney PCT have gone to hospital for DKA over a five year period, based on the data for 2009/10. This number is almost double the average in England of 25%.
Ms Rosenblatt said the number of City and Hackney children already diagnosed with diabetes who are visiting hospital for DKA suggests a failure to “manage the condition and keep blood glucose levels under control.”
She attributed this in part to a lack of information and support from City and Hackney PCT, and called for the “commissioning of local paediatric diabetes services […] to ensure specialist teams have clinical expertise and experience in children’s diabetes.”
“The fact that so many children in the City and Hackney PCT are coming to hospital with DKA shows there is urgent need for improvement.”
Lesley Mountford, Joint Director of Public Health at the City and Hackney PCT, said that “City and Hackney have a small number of young people who have Type One diabetes.
“This makes the data difficult to interpret. However, we are always interested in variations as they can point us in the direction of areas where improvements in services may be needed.
“Unlike Type Two diabetes which is common and linked to being overweight or obese, Type One diabetes is rare and the cause is unknown. Much of our work on diabetes is therefore aimed at preventing Type Two diabetes by encouraging people to take more exercise and eat a healthy diet.”/ 10 September, 2012