Shaping the future of diabetes services


People in Barnsley with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes have been sharing their views to help shape the future of local diabetes services.

The specialist diabetes service in Barnsley is delivered by consultants, specialist nurses and other healthcare professionals, such as dietitians and podiatrists, employed by the Trust and Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (BHNFT). It provides specialist assessment, treatment and management of diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus.

To ensure the service continues to meet local needs, the Trust invited people to share their experience or ideas at diabetes service patient experience events. Anyone who had used diabetes services anywhere in Barnsley over the past year – and carers of people with diabetes – could attend, which will now be used to develop an improved service offer throughout the area.

With the help of Barnados Project Worker Natalie Stokes, young service users wrote a summary report together and presented the information to the Barnsley Local Diabetes Service Advisory Group. The information in the report was based on young people who access the diabetes services at BHNFT, in the paediatric unit and the Post 16 years old unit. There was also a consultation held with the Support Group for Parents of Children with Diabetes.

A number of positives were highlighted including, “I wouldn’t change anything about the care that I have received. I feel lucky to have such lovely, caring nurses!” and “when I was diagnosed, I felt I was spoken to in language I understood and I was put at ease.” However, there were areas where work can be done to improve the experience.

One issue raised was that the transition between the paediatric service and Post 16 service was too drastic and both young people and their parents felt it was “too much, too soon”. Young people also expressed they had apprehension as they didn’t know what to expect in the Post 16 unit. They only knew what they had heard from other young people that had accessed the service and they had only shared the negative aspects.

To tackle the issues raised it was stated within the group that it would be useful to have some age appropriate literature explaining how things ran in the Post 16 unit and how they would differ from the paediatric unit. It was also expressed that it would be a good idea for this to be produced by young people that have gone through the transition. Other recommendations made included a Getting Started’ booklet, for the newly diagnosed, information cards for parents so that they knew what to do if their child is sick/has a fever and how to change care in hot/cold weather and for staff from the Post 16 team to come to the paediatric unit to meet children before they move on to the next service.

The Trust’s associate medical director and consultant community diabetologist, Dr Keith Sands, said, ” Enabling patients, carers and frontline staff to work together in these events has helped us draw out personal feelings and experiences of those using the diabetes service to ensure that we are providing care that suits everyone’s needs. We are delighted by the feedback we have had and while we have been able to pinpoint existing good practice, there are also areas where improvements can be made to help us improve services for now and in the future. “

Vikki Padgett, Equality and Inclusion Development Manager, added, “This has been a great example of partnership working between the main health providers in Barnsley as well as of partnership working between the Trust and Barnsley LINk/Barnado’s Voices for the patient experience element of this group.

The presentation was really well delivered and received well by staff and patient representatives. It was great to hear directly from the young people involved in the consultation. The Diabetic Paediatric Service at BHNFT is keen to work with the young people to take action as a result of their recommendations; in particular the suggestions for a ‘Getting Started’ booklet, the credit card sized information card and reviewing working practices to protect the dignity of young people which will be factored into next year’s work programme.”

Shaping the future of diabetes services

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