The National Assembly for Wales Committee says early identification is the key to fighting Type 1 diabetes in children and adolescents.

The Committee on Petitions opened an investigation after receiving a petition calling on the Welsh Government to introduce a routine screening of diabetes in children and adolescents.

The petition was submitted by the family of 13-year-old Peter Baldwin, who passed away in 2015.

Peter was initially diagnosed with chest infection by his family doctor, but became ill the following day and was taken to hospital.

The participating paramedic performed a finger-prick test and diagnosed Type 1 on the spot. Unfortunately, Peter was already too ill and died soon afterwards.

The committee was told that Type 1 diabetes is a rare disease, and that some primary care physicians see only one new case during their careers.

There are about 1,400 children with diabetes in Wales, of which 96 percent have type 1 diabetes.

The Committee recommends that questions about the four "T" symptoms should be routinely asked if healthy children and young people do not see a family doctor or other health professional – toilet, thirsty, tired and thinner.

Fortunately, for most people, the loss of a child is hard to imagine, and the tremendous courage of Peter's family to use such horrible circumstances to prevent the same situation from happening to others should have enormous respect.

An immediate diagnosis is critical because the onset of the disease can be extremely fast and very dangerous.

We fully support the petition and call on the Welsh Government to do more to raise awareness of the dangers of Type 1 diabetes and to recognize them throughout the NHS.

– David Rowlands AM, Chairman of the Petitions Committee

A number of the Committee's recommendations are already being implemented as part of our Diabetes Delivery Plan.

The plan is clear that all type 1 diabetes requires rapid diagnosis and treatment and recognizes that it is essential for children.

We will consider the results of the report.

– Welsh Government spokesman

The report and its recommendations are now being discussed by the Welsh Government with a plenary debate in the autumn.



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