Resources for children and young people with diabetes

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Skin complaint survey

Over the past few years, our diabetes team has seen a number of cases of severe skin reactions (allergic contact dermatitis) to glucose sensors. This has resulted in some children having to stop using the device altogether which been devastating for the young person and their family. 

Contact dermatitis may be due to an allergic reaction to substances contained in the adhesives of the product or its plastic housing. The manufacturers of these medical devices however are not obliged to label the product with the potential allergens present.

Despite direct contact with the companies by ourselves and reporting every case to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Yellow Card scheme, this information has still not been made available to us. This makes identification of the allergen by patch testing and selection of alternative devices very difficult.

We would like to raise awareness of this issue and the need for better labelling of medical devices. We also feel it is important to understand how common a problem it is for each of the devices available.  

We have contacted all paediatric diabetes teams for information on their experience with this problem. We would now really love to hear from all the children and young people and their families who are using continuous glucose monitoring (either Real time eg Dexcom, Medtronic or flash glucose monitoring eg Freestyle Libre) to see how common this problem is.

We would be grateful if you could complete our survey. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/653GDG7 by  9 August 2020.

Returning to school from 1st June 2020

We understand that some of our families might be feeling anxious about return to school for their children who are in reception, year 1 and year 6.

Association of Children’s diabetes clinicians have released their position statement to help clinicians and parents make decision about sending their children back to school.

http://www.a-c-d-c.org/position-statements/

HbA1c testing

In the last few of weeks the team has implemented a process for obtaining an HbA1c sample and this is currently being offered in two different ways.

Method 1

A sample kit to be posted out to home addresses – this will contain a sample tube, a green test form, a pre-paid return envelope and instructions for how to obtain a small sample which should then be posted a.s.a.p. for the labs to test.

This method of obtaining the HbA1c is mainly for our families who are able to download or who can supply photographic evidence of blood glucose readings from a diary. Please read the instructions below on how to take the blood sample. 

How to obtain the sample

  1. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before starting.
  2. Using a very thin layer of Vaseline, if you have it, will help to obtain the sample – do not use any other products as the blood sample may be contaminated.
  3. You may need to turn up the dial on your finger pricker or you may need to prick your thumb more than once to obtain enough blood.
  4. Scoop several drops of blood into the labelled tube until you reach the 0.5ml arrow (about a third of the tube).
  5. Put the lid on tightly and gently rotate the sample tube.
  6. Add the date and time the sample was obtained to both the tube and the green form (other details will already have been added by us). *This is very important*.
  7. Place the tube inside the clear plastic sample bag on the back of the green form and seal it
  8. Once you have done all the steps above put the sample into the white, padded, pre-paid envelope and post immediately

Method 2

If you feel you unable to do this we are running some drive by clinic slots at the Northern General Hospital where one of the diabetes nurses will be able to collect your sample in the usual way by coming out to your car – you will not need to enter the hospital building.

Families will be given a strict appointment time and will then be able to drive up the ramp to the doors at Children’s Outpatients, Northern General Hospital where we hold our clinics. A nurse, in full protective clothing will take a sample of blood whilst the child has their arm out of the window and will also take your meters, pumps etc. to be downloaded.

Please do not just turn up for this service You must ring the diabetes office first to make an appointment –0114 271 7320

If you require further help to understand the instructions please do not hesitate to contact the diabetes office nurses to discuss.


The diabetes team have moved to telephone clinics from 18.03.20

If you have an appointment booked with the team for a diabetes clinic, please do not come to the hospital unless you have been specifically instructed to do so by one of the Diabetes Team.

Slots for patients who do need to come for Face to Face appointments are still available.

Ann or one of the team members will try to contact you 2/3 days before your diabetes appointment.  You will be advised of the type of appointment you will be having (telephone or face to face).  If there is no answer after 2 attempts we will leave a message on your answer machine or voicemail.  You will still receive a clinic appointment letter from the hospital which will state the location as either the Children’s Hospital or Northern General Hospital. The important information you need from this letter at the minute is the date and time of your appointment.  You can ignore the location of the clinic as the majority of appointments will be by telephone.

On the day of your appointment the consultant will try to call as near to your original booked appointment time as possible. But please try and be available anytime between 9am & 12pm for morning appointments and between 2pm & 4.30pm for afternoon appointments.

The reason we are reminding families before appointments is so that you are aware of, and available to, take the consultants call.  The consultant will try to call you twice.   If there is no reply after the second attempt we will be recording this as a ‘Was not Brought’ or WNB just as we would if you failed to attend a clinic appointment.  Telephone appointments are still diabetes clinic appointments and take up an immense amount of the team’s time preparing all the information needed.

We really do need you to download your meter, insulin pump, Libre etc so that we have the latest information to help you.  It would be even better if you can get into the routine of downloading weekly. If you are not able to download at all, we will suggest that you keep a glucose diary.

In some cases it will be necessary to attend a face to face clinic appointment.  You will be made aware of this by the doctor when they call you if this is necessary.  If you do need to attend a face to face appointment then we would request that only 1 parent/guardian is to accompany the child – definitely no siblings.

If, on the day of your appointment there is something that will prevent you being able to take the call then please let us know on 0114 2717320 so that we can discuss your options.  Letting us know that you may not be available could free up the consultant to speak to another patient.

You can call and leave a message on the answer phone in the nursing office and someone will get back to you as soon as they pick the message up.  The office number is 0114 2717320.

The diabetes educators are still mostly working from home but you can get hold of them on their mobile numbers given below

  • Mark Denial: 07971907465
  • Sarah Hawnt: 07831571169 (Sarah is now part time – she works different days on different weeks – if you cannot get hold of Sarah and have not heard back from her regarding a message you may have left, then please call one of the other diabetes nurses)
  • Claire Tallis: 07919217070 (Mon-Weds only)
  • Will Marshall: 07826897294
  • Orla McCarthy: 07824383119 (Dietician)
  • Jenny Simpson: 07500997599 (Dietician)

If you are having trouble getting hold of the nurse you have called then please try one of the other team members.

HbA1c testing

In the last couple of weeks the team has implemented a process for obtaining an HbA1c sample and this is currently being offered in two different ways.

  1. A sample kit can be posted out to home addresses – this will contain a sample tube, a green test form, a pre-paid return envelope and instructions for how to obtain a small sample which should then be posted a.s.a.p. for the labs to test.

This method of obtaining the HbA1c will be for our families who are able to download OR who can supply photographic evidence of blood glucose readings from a diary.

  1. There is also a bookable ‘drive by’ service at the NGH where families can have a download of their equipment and also an HbA1c test.

Families will be given a strict appointment time and will then be able to drive up the ramp to the doors at Children’s Outpatients, Northern General Hospital where we hold our clinics.  A nurse, in full protective clothing will take a sample of blood whilst the child has their arm out of the window and will also take your meters, pumps etc. to be downloaded.

Please do not just turn up for this service – you can call the office and be given a time slot to attend.

It would be an enormous benefit to both parties if you could download your meter at home prior to your telephone clinic appointment

Please keep yourself updated on coronavirus at gov.uk/coronavirus

 

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