Charity funding helps children and families manage a diabetes diagnosis

The children's diabetes team with some of the equipment funded by East Kent Hospitals Charity. There are four women in the photo, wearing surgical masks. They are pictured with a table that has equipment on it. One is also holding a board with a diag

Published on 14 June 2021

Children with diabetes are learning more about the condition and how to manage it thanks to equipment bought with donations from East Kent Hospitals Charity.

The charity has funded special magnetic boards for the children’s diabetes team at East Kent Hospitals, which are used to teach young patients how their bodies work and how they are affected by diabetes.

The boards are part of a structured education programme known as SEREN, which stands for structured education: reassuring empowering nurturing, delivered over six weeks to children and their families.

Thanks to the funding, the team have been able to buy more boards so they can deliver the education programme to more families, helping them better manage their diabetes and avoid complications or longer-term health issues.

Dr Amy-Kate Hurrell, a clinical psychologist with the children’s diabetes team, said: “Education is key to helping young people and their families after they are diagnosed with diabetes.

“It can be a huge shock and is often very frightening to be told you have a condition you will need to manage for the rest of your life.

“But thanks to the boards and the SEREN programme we are able to give them valuable information right at the start of their journey so they understand what the diagnosis means and some of the things they can do to manage it.”

The charity has also funded specialist equipment for the Needle-Lil’ Help clinics at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital, Kent and Canterbury Hospital and William Harvey Hospital. The clinics, set up by the children’s diabetes team, are dedicated to working with young people with needle anxiety.

The equipment includes fake rubber arms, injection practice pads, play medical equipment sets and materials to make latex skin patches and stickers. The fake arms allow the young patients to have a go at finding a vein and inserting a needle themselves.

They also get to look at and handle different types of needles, and practise the steps leading up to a blood test while learning to manage their anxiety.

Amy-Kate said: “The clinic has been a great success and we have been able to make a real difference to the experience of our young people, who often need regular blood tests or injections.

“We are hugely grateful to the charity for funding the equipment and for their support of our team.”

East Kent Hospitals Charity raises funds for the wards and services provided by the Trust, and uses the money to fund medical research, specialist equipment, to improve treatment facilities, support staff development and for improvements to the hospital environment to promote well-being.

For more information visit www.ekhcharity.org.uk