National review places new Trust diabetes service in top five in the country

The results of a national peer review audit published recently shows that the Trust’s dedicated diabetes service for children and young people is the fourth best in the country out of 147 NHS organisations across the country – and the best in the East of England.

Children's diabetes team

The national audit, which was carried out on behalf of NHS England, reviewed every aspect of the  service in great detail, is proof of the high quality care that babies from birth through to young people  aged up to 19 receive from the innovative multi-disciplinary team that works out of clinics at both the  Lister and QEII hospitals.

One of the service’s founding members, consultant paediatrician Dr Andy Raffles, explained:

“Here in the Trust’s children’s team, we’ve earned something of a reputation of being at the forefront  of developing new and better ways to support children. Diabetes is one of the most frequently  occurring life-long health conditions diagnosed in the UK. The numbers of new cases diagnosed have increased very significantly in the last ten to fifteen years, especially in children and young people.

“The children’s and adult specialist services, including paediatricians, specialist nurses, psychologists, dieticians, adult specialist diabetologists and an educationalist, have been working together for many years to ensure the highest quality of care for diabetic patients and their families. As a result of such good collaboration, we have been shown justifiably, by external peer review, to be one of the most successful multi-disciplinary teams in the country – and the best in the region. We take great pride in providing our young patients with an innovative service that provides them with great care.

“Indeed we are now recognised both regionally and nationally as the model for training when it comes to educational support. We are also very different from many other diabetic services for young people in that we provide out-of-hours support for families across the region, not just those in our local area. We also have a very active parent group, which is another form of support that our families access – and is a great sounding board when we – or they – have ideas for further improvements we can make.”

Dr Peter Winocour, who is the Trust’s clinical director for adult diabetes services, said:

“One important aspect of the service is our focus on enabling young people with diabetes to make the transition from being treated as a child and move seamlessly to care provided in our separate young adult diabetes clinics. Diabetes is a life-long condition and our priority is to best enable young people to live a healthy life through effective self-management.”

Nick Carver, the Trust’s chief executive, said:

“I was delighted to hear that our children’s and young people’s diabetes service has fared so well in the national peer review. These audits are very intensive, and I know that the team will have worked many hours – often in their own time – preparing the information required by the review process. The news that they have created the fourth best performing service in the country is marvellous news and one that is deserved thoroughly.

“This national recognition is yet another example of how our clinical teams can, with the right support and structure behind, them deliver truly exceptional services for the benefit of their patients. Just a few short years ago, people travelled outside of Hertfordshire routinely for such specialist care. Today that is no longer the case, with the Trust developing a reputation for providing services that increasingly are amongst the best to be found anywhere in the English health service.”