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This is how United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust supports young people with Type-1 diabetes





Here is how we can support our young people with diabetes, writes Dr Tanya Naydeva-Grigorova.

As a paediatric consultant I work as part of the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust Children’s Diabetes Team and we support our young patients at Lincoln, Boston and Grantham hospitals.

We are with our young patients right from their diagnosis, through to helping them to understand and manage their diabetes.

Dr Tanya Naydeva-Grigorova
Dr Tanya Naydeva-Grigorova

Type-1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that originates when cells that make insulin are destroyed by a person’s own immune system. It is not caused by obesity, poor diet or any other lifestyle choices.

Having Type-1 diabetes at any age can be a challenge, but particularly when you are a child.

The children enjoyed a trip to Rand Farm Park.
The children enjoyed a trip to Rand Farm Park.

One of the ways we provide support is by organising events where our young patients get to meet and socialise with other children their age who also have diabetes.

These trips are so valuable and we are so grateful that they are funded through the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Charity.

The children meeting the animals at Rand Farm Park.
The children meeting the animals at Rand Farm Park.

We have been bowling, trampolining, to an amusement arcade and to other fun places.

We most recently went to Rand Farm Park where the children had a day full of fun; learning all about the animals, feeding them, petting them, enjoying tractor rides, countryside walks, playing in the playgrounds and even making butter after watching the dairy cows being milked.

We all had an amazing time. At the start of the day most of these children were strangers, but by the end you could see that real friendships had been made.

The children enjoyed a trip to Rand Farm Park.
The children enjoyed a trip to Rand Farm Park.

We know that many of these children are the only pupils with diabetes in their class or even their whole school.

Therefore, it is so important that they are able to have a day where having Type-1 diabetes is normal for everyone. There is no stigma about checking your blood sugar levels, using an insulin pen, or adjusting your insulin pump. Instead it is about creating new experiences, friendships and sharing stories and advice with each other.

Young patients were busy making butter on their trip.
Young patients were busy making butter on their trip.

It is important for the children to know how to check and monitor their blood sugar levels and also take any necessary action or medication to help keep these levels within the recommended range.

But it is even more valuable for them to be able to have these opportunities and experiences that helps them to develop their confidence and their independence around managing their condition. These are memories and lessons that will stay with them for the rest of their life.



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