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Claims children with diabetes in Jersey face discrimination

Credit: Kate Hughes

A leading charity says children with diabetes are being discriminated against in Jersey.

At the moment, the government pays for an insulin pump for adults - which can transform a patient's life - but that funding is not available for children.

I think it's discriminatory practice...it's totally unfair that children haven't been offered the pumps in recent times.

– Bill O'Brien, Diabetes Jersey

The charity also says there is a lack of support for children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes in regard to their psychological care.

States Members say change is coming and the funds for the pumps will be available next year but there's no timescale on when this might be.

£3,300
How much an insulin costs per year for a child with type 1 diabetes.

It is thought 8-10 children with type 1 diabetes in Jersey could benefit from an insulin pump.

Currently, insulin pumps used by adult type 1 diabetics are prescribed in accordance with NICE guidelines, for which there is a nominal charge to patients. We also plan to make insulin pumps available to children. However, before this can happen nurses and dietitians need to complete training. It is envisaged that funding for children’s insulin pumps will also involve a nominal charge.

It is suggested that young people with paediatric difficulties such as diabetes would benefit from psychological support offered by clinicians embedded within their healthcare teams. This proposal will be submitted to the Diabetes Strategy Working Group.

– Children’s Minister, Senator Sam Mézec

In Guernsey, insulin pumps are available for children and adults who are interested and meet the clinical criteria for pump therapy as per NICE Guidance and U.K best practice.

Anna Geary has this exclusive report, which begins with one family's story...