EARLIER this year I attended the launch of a campaign to raise awareness of the symptoms of type one diabetes in children and young people in Wales.

The Know Type 1 Campaign aims to ensure that type one diabetes in children and young people is diagnosed early and before life threatening complications set in.

Diabetes UK Cymru are leading the campaign with a mum Beth Baldwin who has campaigned tirelessly and with such courage on this since tragically losing her 13 year old son, Peter, to undiagnosed type one diabetes two years ago.

Around 1,400 children and young people in Wales have type one diabetes. A range of common childhood illnesses, such as the flu, water and chest infections can easily be mistaken for the symptoms. Around 1 in 5 children aren’t diagnosed until they are in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which is a life-threatening condition that requires urgent medical attention.

The campaign seeks to highlight the common symptoms of type one diabetes, also known as the 4Ts: Toilet, Thirsty, Tired, and Thinner. It seeks to raise awareness not just with the public, but vitally with frontline healthcare professionals. And they do not want the campaign to end there.

In July I, along with Diabetes UK Cymru, Beth Baldwin and colleagues, Jayne Bryant AM and Julie Morgan AM, met with the Health Secretary to discuss ways in which the Welsh Government could do more.

Although there is welcome work already underway to raise awareness through the Welsh Government’s Diabetes Delivery Plan for Wales, Diabetes UK Cymru want to go even further by ensuring that every GP in Wales has ready access to a glucose meter to do a finger prick test. This takes less than a minute, is relatively cheap and could save a life if it is carried out when patient presents with any of the 4T symptoms.

This is an issue that I will be continuing to pursue when the Assembly reconvenes. If any constituent would like to share their views and experiences I would like to hear from you. You can also find out more about the campaign, get involved or donate, by visiting www.diabetes.org.uk or please contact me at lynne.neagle@assembly.wales or 01495 740022.