Research Article

Care of the diabetic child in the community.

Br Med J 1980; 281 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.281.6254.1534 (Published 06 December 1980) Cite this as: Br Med J 1980;281:1534
  1. J W Farquhar,
  2. M L Campbell

    Abstract

    Brief admission of the new diabetic child and of a parent to an enlightened hospital for stabilisation, preliminary education, and familiarisation with hospital and community staff is well worth while. The greater the demand for constant control of the highest quality, the greater the need for a close understanding of the psychosocial factors concerned and for clinical skill. The nature of the home and the family relationships should in theory be available from the child's general practitioner at the time of the first referral since he has so much information about the whole family. With the virtual disappearance, however, of mutual consultation in the patient's home in many places, the opportunity for oral communication has declined, and availability on the telephone is not always easy. The busy general practitioner (far less an unknown physician from a deputising service without access to the records) has little time to write a comprehensive letter. In practice a relatively small hospital-based mobile team of specially experienced sisters who are keen to communicate in the home, the GP's surgery, and the school makes a major contribution to the diabetic care of a young population vulnerable to major handicap in what should be the prime of life. Their cost effectiveness may be difficult to prove but it is not at all in doubt--especially when the sisters as in this area deal in the community with a wider range of chronic illnesses and handicaps in children.