Specialist diabetes therapy to be offered in South

Diabetic children living in the South will no longer have to travel to Dublin for specialised treatment after the HSE South sanctioned the appointment of a diabetes nurse specialist at Cork University Hospital.

The full-time specialist will work alongside a multi- disciplinary team delivering insulin pump therapy to children under five with Type 1 diabetes.

The post is due to be advertised shortly with a request that the position be filled as soon as possible.

Pump therapy is thought to be the best way to deliver insulin to children.

It is recommended in children under 12 and considered a priority in those under five years.

Diabetes Ireland has welcomed the appointment of the full-time specialist.

“This decision will allow the delivery of this specialist treatment to very young children with diabetes in CUH,” Diabetes Ireland spokesman Mark McMahon said.

“This will eventually end the practice of sending children to Dublin hospitals for this treatment and promote the development of services at CUH.”

The diabetes specialist nurse will identify and carefully select individual patients under five with Type 1 diabetes, and begin insulin pump therapy.

HSE South area manager Ger Reaney said the role will also include the delivery of a structured education programme to these young patients using a “child-friendly approach”.

“It is hoped to establish six new pump patients in the under-five age category prior to the end of 2012,” Mr Reaney said.

This is the latest development at the hospital in the treatment of diabetes.

Dr Stephen O’Riordan, a consultant paediatric endocrinologist, was appointed in Sept 2011.

He has led the establishment of the first paediatric structured educational programme for children with type 1 diabetes — the so-called ‘pump school’ — in Cork last February.

In April, Dr O’Riordan was nominated as national clinical lead for the insulin pump programme in the under fives.

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