The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended that children and young people with suspected diabetes should be seen immediately by a specialist.
In NICE’s new quality standards, published on Thursday 14 July, the importance of prompt diagnosis has been stressed.
GPs have been advised to immediately refer a child or young person with suspected type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes to ensure faster diagnosis and management.
This referral should result in the child or young person being seen by a multidisciplinary paediatric team on the same day they see their GP.
As part of the standard, NICE has also set out that children and young people with type 1 diabetes should be offered intensive therapy to help them achieve good control of blood glucose levels.
Additionally, children and young people with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes should be offered access to mental health professionals with an understanding of diabetes.
Professor Gill Leng, deputy chief executive of NICE, said: “Type 1 and type 2 diabetes can be a very difficult disease to manage for children and young people and their families, with a huge impact on their daily lives.
“Diabetes teams should provide all the help that children and young people need to stay as healthy as possible, including psychological support through access to mental health professionals with an understanding of diabetes.”
Roughly 26,400 children and young people have type 1 diabetes in England and Wales and 500 have type 2 diabetes.
Prompt diagnosis is crucial to ensure that children with diabetes are treated immediately and, with their parents, given the necessary information to ensure their diabetes is well controlled.
Dan Howarth, head of care at Diabetes UK, added: “It is vital that, from the very beginning, children with diabetes get the appropriate care and support they need to be able to successfully manage their condition.”

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