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Type 1 diabetes support

What is type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes develops when the insulin-producing cells in the body have been destroyed and the body is unable to produce any insulin. Insulin allows glucose (sugar) to enter the body’s cells where it is used as fuel. In Type 1 diabetes the body is unable to produce any insulin therefore glucose builds up in the body’s blood. This build up occurs as the body is unable to use the glucose as fuel.

Nobody knows for sure why the insulin-producing cells can been destroyed but the most likely cause is the body having an abnormal reaction to the cells. This may be triggered by a virus or other infection. Type 1 diabetes can develop at any age but usually appears before the age of 40, and especially in childhood.

Type 1 Diabetes in the UK

Type 1 diabetes accounts for between 5 and 15 per cent of all people with diabetes and is treated by daily insulin injections, a healthy diet and regular physical activity.

Case Study

Lexi who celebrated her fourth birthday at the end of May, was born with Downs Syndrome. She lives with her family – mum Paula, dad Arron and big brother Travis in Hemingbrough. At 18 months, Lexi suffered further complications to her health, after being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and suffering from alopecia. Her type 1 diabetes is unstable and her blood sugars can fluctuate, especially if she is unwell. Lexi requires her blood to be checked eight times per day and that sometimes requires the administration of insulin. She also often struggles to communicate. Lexi’s parents wanted her to attend a joint mainstream/special needs school in order for her to access the same opportunities and facilities open to children of her age and ability.

History and diagnosis:

The type 1 diabetes home care plan:

Voyage Specialist Healthcare was contacted by the local PCT to provide support for Lexi’s ongoing type 1 diabetes requirements. Meetings with Lexi, her parents and her Multi disciplinary team were arranged to fully understand her needs and to develop a person centred care plan. Both Lexi and her family were involved in the recruitment process which sourced suitable healthcare assistants who could support her needs.

Once the healthcare assistants had been recruited, they received mandatory and clinical training sessions from our in house specialist trainers as well as on-going clinical competency support from our clinical managers. The clinical training received by each healthcare assistant is summarised below:

Monitoring of blood sugar levels, administration of insulin and other medication, administration of emergency diabetic medication and enhanced communication skills training

Voyage Specialist Healthcare now provides five hours of care on a weekly basis and supports Lexi to communicate and attend school. Our healthcare assistants also support Lexi in dressing and undressing, feeding, monitoring blood sugar levels and administering insulin.

Outcome:
Physical and emotional:

With the support of our healthcare assistants, Lexi has been able to start school. She has ample opportunity to be stimulated by play and is now learning Makaton techniques to help her to interact with other children and to communicate her needs more freely.

Makaton is a language programme which uses signs and symbols to help people to communicate

Client and family feedback:

Lexi’s mum stated that she “felt a bit guilty and apprehensive at first but the healthcare assistants have totally reassured me and have become part of the family. The assistance with care has made a huge difference to our family as Lexi cannot be left unattended.

I can now have a bit of time for myself which is usually spent catching up on housework or ironing, and we can also spend more time with Travis, who enjoys trips to the cinema”.

Commissioner feedback:

Very positive feedback has been received from the PCT regarding the speedy response to the commencement of the care package and the reliability and quality of care being provided by our healthcare assistants.
More case studies

What our clients say about Voyage Specialist Healthcare I can't fault the staff, as they are absolutely fantastic and I find they always turn up when they should.
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Voyage Care supports thousands of people with learning and physical disabilities, brain injuries, autism and other needs across England, Scotland and Wales.

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