4YP youth workers at the Ipswich Hospital Diabetes Clinic

July 31, 2023

4YP have been chosen to operate a pilot project with the Diabetes Clinic at Ipswich Hospital that will help support young people with the management of their diabetes.

In the UK, nearly three-quarters of young people with Type 1 diabetes are not getting the medical attention they need, according to a report. Regular check-ups are vital to monitor for diabetes-related complications, like retinopathy, neuropathy, and kidney disease.

The 4YP youth workers at Ipswich Hospital are there to recognise and respond to the varied needs that affect how well a young person is managing their diabetes and assist with issues that create barriers to consistent management. Issues can include familial challenges, housing, lack of self-care, mental health, location, and previous experience with services, which can all impact a young person’s motivation, willingness and ability to maintain management and engage with clinical services. The support provided by 4YP is vital and will ensure that young people have positive experiences within hospital environments and will be able to see tangible improvements to their health and wellbeing.

Zach Corrie, is one of the youth workers that has helped to set up the service at the Diabetes Clinic. He says, “Our work in partnership with the Ipswich Diabetes Clinic is aimed at supporting the health and wellbeing of Diabetes patients aged 16-25. We organise educational and social events, act as a liaison on clinic days and provide one-to-ones. Our sole focus isn’t their diabetes but to provide a holistic approach by supporting them with any issues they may be facing, whether that be mental health, looking for work, money worries and much more. By providing support at such a crucial age range we hope to empower these young people to better manage their own diabetes”.

This pilot project is one of only two in the country and, if successful, it is hoped that the concept could be rolled out to other areas of clinical care, particularly those where young patients can really benefit from extra support with the management of their long-term conditions.