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Extra funding for diabetic youngsters

PUBLISHED: 10:20 16 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:02 05 July 2010

Children with diabetes in Yarmouth and Waveney will soon get extra help and support.

The new investment of £90,000-£100,000 has still to be formally approved but it has been agreed in principle by NHS Yarmouth and Waveney.

Children with diabetes in Yarmouth and Waveney will soon get extra help and support.

The new investment of £90,000-£100,000 has still to be formally approved but it has been agreed in principle by NHS Yarmouth and Waveney. It will pay for paediatric diabetes nurses, and probably psychological support for children with the condition, for the first time. Type 1 diabetes, which can affect children, is linked with high levels of depression and eating disorders in young people.

There have been long-running concerns about the level of treatment for people with both types of diabetes across Norfolk and Waveney. Last month it was reported that additional specialist nurses were being taken on at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and that a part-time psychologist was being recruited at the N&N and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn to give much-needed support to young people with the condition.

A pregnancy and diabetes specialist has also just been appointed. It is part of extra investment of more than £500,000 by NHS Yarmouth and Waveney in the past year.

David Edwards, who is chairman of the local diabetes network, said: “It is great. I am really thrilled about that.”

The cash has included extra podiatrists to help monitor foot problems, which if untreated can lead to amputation in people with diabetes. In September, it was reported on long-running shortages of podiatrists and that more than 200 people were on the routine waiting list in Yarmouth and Waveney, a situation which is improving as a result of the new staff.

Type 2 diabetes in particular is expected to become increasingly common, partly because of rising obesity levels. People in Yarmouth and Waveney are already fatter than the national average. More than 5pc of people Yarmouth and Waveney have diabetes, not all of them diagnosed, and by 2026 that is expected to rise to 8pc.

At the James Paget University Hospital's council of governors meeting on Friday, governor Wulf Forsthye-Yorke pointed out that 10pc of the national NHS budget is spent on treating complications of diabetes. “That is a huge amount” he said, adding that more needed to be done to tackle people who did not co-operate with medics to keep their diabetes under control.

Mr Edwards said that more staff were being trained to teach people with diabetes how to manage their condition through diet and exercise.

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