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Southern school children learn 4Ts of Diabetes

2014-06-26
Photograph of Pupils from Our Lady's Primary School, Tullysaran highlight the 4Ts of diabetes.
Pupils from Our Lady's Primary School, Tullysaran highlight the 4Ts of diabetes alongside (left to right) Michele Bekmez, Business Manager for Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs) in the Southern area; Shakheera Ross, Media and Communications Officer at Diabetes UK NI; Melissa McSkeane, Acting Project Support for Southern ICPs; Stephen Barry, Project Manager for Southern ICPs.

Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs) in the Southern area are working in partnership with Diabetes UK and the Southern Education and Library Board (SELB) to highlight the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes.

Research by Diabetes UK has shown that up to nine out of ten parents do not know the four main symptoms of Type 1 diabetes. To address this lack of awareness, the charity created a campaign to highlight the ‘4 Ts’ of Type 1 diabetes symptoms.

The 4 T’s stand for Toilet, Thirsty, Tired and Thinner:

Southern ICPs are raising awareness by distributing 4 Ts campaign posters and briefing materials to all primary schools throughout the SELB area. ICPs are networks of GPs, pharmacists, health and social care staff, voluntary and community groups and service users and carers, all of whom are working together to improve joined up and person centred care.

Michele Bekmez, Business Manager for ICPs in the Southern area said:

“ICPs are now working in local areas to improve care for long term conditions such as diabetes and promoting early diagnosis and early treatment is an important part of that work. We are supporting this important campaign to help ensure that parents, carers, and those working with children know the symptoms and understand that a child urgently needs to visit a doctor and be tested for Type 1 diabetes if they have some or all of these symptoms. By simply remembering the 4Ts could stop a child from getting dangerously ill.”

The campaign will also raise awareness among healthcare professionals. Posters and briefing materials will be distributed to Emergency Departments, pharmacies and GP practices across the Southern Local Commissioning Group (LCG) area in the coming weeks. This will be followed up with an education programme targeted at GPs, Practice Nurses, Pharmacists and Emergency Department staff which will be delivered by the Southern ICPs in early Autumn.

Phograph of Stephen Barry, Project Manager for Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs) in the Southern area; Mr Pat Mallon, Principal of Our Lady’s Primary School, Tullysaran; Melissa McSkeane, Acting Project Support for Southern ICPs; Shakheera Ross, Media and Communications Officer at Diabetes UK NI and Michele Bekmez, Business Manager for Southern ICPs, along with pupils for Our Lady’s Primary School.

Top (left to right): Stephen Barry, Project Manager for Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs) in the Southern area; Mr Pat Mallon, Principal of Our Lady’s Primary School, Tullysaran. Front: Melissa McSkeane, Acting Project Support for Southern ICPs; Shakheera Ross, Media and Communications Officer at Diabetes UK NI and Michele Bekmez, Business Manager for Southern ICPs, along with pupils for Our Lady’s Primary School.

Shakheera Ross, Media and Communications Officer at Diabetes UK NI said:

“There are now 1,070 children and young people living with Type 1 diabetes in Northern Ireland. A lack of awareness is one of the reasons that a quarter of children with Type 1 diabetes are only diagnosed once they are already seriously ill with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a life threatening condition which needs immediate specialist treatment in hospital. We believe that everyone who knows a child should be aware of the 4Ts of Type 1 diabetes, remember them, and know what to do if they spot them. This is because onset can be so quick that a delay of a matter of hours can be the difference between being diagnosed early and being diagnosed too late.”

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