Introduction: Type 1 diabetes mellitus is the third commonest chronic condition of childhood and unfortunately UK has one of the lowest percentages of children attaining good diabetes control in Europe. Department of Health has outlined recommendations to improve management of diabetes in schools and provide children with the necessary support required to achieve their maximum potential.
Objective: To evaluate the provisions available in Shropshire and Powys maintained schools for the management of children with diabetes.
Method: A postal questionnaire and covering letter, addressed to the head teachers of 83 schools identified as having at least one pupil with diabetes on their register was sent. 47 (57%) of these schools participated in the survey. Simultaneously parent satisfaction questionnaires were distributed to parents of children with diabetes attending specialist diabetes clinics at the hospital, which garnered 43 responses.
Results: 17% of schools in Shropshire and Powys had a written diabetes policy. 79% of schools used personalised diabetes management plan and only 49% of the schools had a staff lead for diabetes. Written guidelines for management of hypoglycaemia were available in 60% of schools and 83% had facilities for safe storage of sharps. Parent satisfaction questionnaires revealed that 23% of parents felt that their child missed out on school activities due to diabetes. 65% of them felt that their childs hypoglycaemia was managed adequately in school and there was a wide variability in the degree of satisfaction of parents with their childs diabetes management in school.
Conclusion: Not every child with diabetes had a personalised diabetes management plan as against the Department of Health recommendations. Schools lacked adequate written guidance for the management of hypoglycaemia and there was need to provide more information and training opportunities to both school staff and school nurses in the management of diabetes in children.
09 - 11 Nov 2011
British Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes