Young people with diabetes

Helping young people with diabetes

In North East Essex there are around 450 people living with diabetes under the age of 25 and the majority of these young people have their care provided by us the North East Essex Diabetes Service (NEEDS).

We want to make sure that, along with the other 17,000 people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in North East Essex, our younger patients have access to online help, support and education.

We have a dedicated Facebook page and Twitter where we post regular updates about the NEEDS service, education courses, local events and relevant news. We also encourage our patients who use social media to post questions on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #NEEDShelp. The answers are then posted on the Frequently Asked Questions section of the NEEDS website.

Type 1  &  Type 2
If you are diagnosed aged 16 or over, your care will be provided by NEEDS.

If you are diagnosed under the age of 16, your care will be provided by the Paediatric department at Colchester General Hospital, which is commissioned by East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), until you turn 19.

Leading up to your 19th birthday your care will be transferred over to the adult service provided by NEEDS.

This will not happen straight away, but will be a gradual process between the ages of 18 and 19 (called the transition period).  During the transition period, you will attend regular joint clinics with members of both the adult Diabetes Specialist team from NEEDS and the Paediatric team.

If you have Type 1 Diabetes, you will be encouraged to attend a young person’s DAFNE education course which will give you lots of useful information about Type 1 diabetes and help you to learn about adjusting insulin to match your carbohydrate intake.

Although your parents will still be involved, the transition stage is much more focused on you taking control of your diabetes and becoming independent.

There are a number of online communities available for young people with Type 1 diabetes, including:
JDRF Forums
Diabetes UK Young Adults
Type 1 Uncut (Video)

If you have Type 2 diabetes you have the option of attending a number of education courses which will help you to learn more about Type 2 diabetes. These include: