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The outside of the Stephanie Marks Diabetes Centre at Saint Peter's Hospital

Ashford and St Peter’s NHS Trust aims to offer an excellent service to all children and young people with diabetes and their parents and carers. Diabetes can have a significant impact on the life of a young person and their family or carers. Good management and support through insulin management, education, and psychological services are essential to promote lifelong management of the condition and positive outcomes.

All children and young people with diabetes are entitled to aspire and achieve their hopes and dreams in life.


Emotional factors in care

Building positive supportive relationships with our patients and families

We believe that a key aspect of good diabetes care is to build a good relationship between patients and families and the MDT staff. This relationship we believe starts at the time of diagnosis. We take great care to explain all aspects of diabetes management fully and involve patients and their families in decisions on treatment. Our underlying aim is always to build self-confidence in the children and young people cared for in our service in managing their diabetes along with the promotion emotional wellbeing.

Children and young people may be anxious and unhappy to attend clinic. Nationally, 85% of patients with diabetes are not achieving optimal control so many patients may receive challenging information when they attend clinic or meet their health team.

We are always mindful that diabetes adds a burden of a chronic disease to a child / young person’s lifestyle which causes differences to the majority of their peer group. Young people with diabetes are asked to manage their own condition with a high level of maturity and responsibility for their health. This is in stark contrast to the developmental stage for most children and young people of having few serious responsibilities and enjoying increasing freedom and independence.

It is common to see emotional problems such as anxiety, a sense of failure to meet expectations, denial of the condition, eating disorders and other serious mental health issues associated with diabetes and, from diagnosis and through-out the journey of living with diabetes, we believe that all children and young people require an individual package of care that supports their needs, both physically and emotionally.

We believe that family members are usually the closest support for children and young people with diabetes and we encourage families to be involved in a positive way and communicate issues relating to diabetes in a supportive way.