Paediatric nurses have double recommended caseload

Children with diabetes are at an increased risk of severe hypoglycaemic episodes and long-term complications because paediatric diabetes specialist nurses (PDSNs) are overstretched, according to Diabetes UK.

Photograph: JH Lancy
Photograph: JH Lancy

Its report shows that some PDSNs in PCTs look after more than 150 children, compared with the recommended 70.

The charity says that such a large case load does not allow nurses the necessary time to help children manage their diabetes and give them individual advice and support.

The report also shows that the PDSN caseload in 35% of PCTs has increased since 2007 and less than 7% of PCTs have improved their PDSN caseload.

This is despite the fact that more than 80% of children with diabetes are not achieving recommended blood glucose levels, the cornerstone of good diabetes management.

The table below shows some of the PCTs with the highest caseload per PDSN
PCT Caseload
Hillingdon      1 to 160  
Suffolk NHS East1 to 168
Suffolk NHS West
1.2 to 114
Derbyshire County
1 to 150 
Mid Essex   
1 to 145 
1 to 132   
Nottingham City
1 to 130    
Great Yarmouth and Waveney
1 to 125
Wirral 1 to123
1 to 121 (PDSN only employed for 28 hours week)
North East Essex Primary Care Trust         1 to 120
Torbay Care Trust        
1 to 120  
NHS Leicester City      
1 to  120
Salford    1 to 115  
NHS Central Lancashire 
1 to 114
1 to 110
North East Lincolnshire Care Trust 
1 to 100
Sutton & Merton 
1 to 100
Heywood Middleton and Rochdale1 to100
Redbridge      1 to 99
1 to 90
Medway PCT     1 to 95
1 to 87
Lambeth1 to 80

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