Sir George met Jack Charge from Appleshaw, at a Diabetes UK lobby of Parliament on Tuesday 18 November. Jack talked to Sir George about inequalities in support for pupils with diabetes at schools in England.
"Jack and his mother were very appreciative of all the help given at Appleshaw School, and were keen that other children who suffer from diabetes should have the same opportunities."
Around 100 parliamentarians attended the leading health charity’s event, where they heard from 200 children and young people with diabetes about their experiences at school. Whilst some children receive excellent support to manage their diabetes at school, others are not so lucky. Some are denied access to snacks during lessons, kept out of class unnecessarily and banned from going on school trips.
Diabetes is a serious condition that, if not managed effectively, can lead to long-term complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and amputation. Short-term complications of the condition include hypoglycaemic episodes, known as ‘hypos’, can lead to unconsciousness and hospitalisation if left untreated. However, effective diabetes management from the time of diagnosis can reduce the risk of these complications. This is why giving children the right support to control their condition from an early age is vital to protect their short- and long-term health.
Sir George said: “There are an estimated 2,000 children diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes every year in the UK. It is vital that they are appropriately supported to manage their diabetes at school to protect their health, quality of life and education.
“The Government needs to ensure that pressure comes from the top down to implement existing legislation so local authorities, primary care trusts and schools can work together to have effective policies in place to support children with diabetes – and actually adhere to them. Inspections and monitoring will play a vital part in this. It is appalling that some children with diabetes are not getting the support they need to live a full school life.”
To coincide with World Diabetes Day on Friday 14 November, Diabetes UK released Making all Children Matter, a report that looks at the current situation for children with diabetes in schools in England and what needs to be done to ensure they get the same opportunities as every other child. A copy of the report can be downloaded at www.diabetes.org.uk/makingallchildrenmatter.
For further media information, please contact Sarah Milsom or Huw Beale in the Diabetes UK Press Office on 0207 424 1165 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For urgent out of hours media enquiries, please call 07711 176 028.
Notes to editor
1 Diabetes UK is the charity for people with diabetes. We fund more than £7 million of medical research every year, provide information and support to people with diabetes and campaign on their behalf. For more information visit www.diabetes.org.uk .
2 In the UK, there are currently 2.5 million people diagnosed with diabetes and it is estimated that more than half a million people have the condition but do not know it.
3 The Diabetes UK Careline (0845 120 2960) offers information and support on any aspect of managing diabetes. The line is a lo-call number and opens Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm (operates a translation service). Recorded information on a number of diabetes-related topics is also available on this number 24 hours a day.
4 Membership of Diabetes UK is from £23 a year with special rates available. In addition to our bi-monthly magazine Balance, members receive support and the latest information on diabetes care and treatments to help them live a healthy life.