First for podcasts for teenagers with diabetes

The Jenny Lind Children's Department at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is believed to be the first NHS centre in the country to use podcasts to provide young people with diabetes with lifestyle advice.

The new series of podcasts are hosted at People can listen to the podcasts from that web page and download them to an MP3 player for free. They are also available on iTunes for free.

The podcasts were the idea of Chris Nicolaou, of Takeda, who first raised the concept with the team at the Elsie Bertam Diabetes Centre at the hospital. The Elsie Bertram team and Dr Vipan Datta, consultant paediatric diabetologist suggested they would be particularly useful for teenagers.

Dr Datta has been working with other members of the Jenny Lind diabetes team to develop frank and honest lifestyle advice for people aged 14+ who have Type 1 Diabetes. There are eight podcasts covering themes ranging from how to cope with diabetes and playing sport, introduction to diabetes, going abroad on holiday, diabetes and drinking, diabetes and sex and some of the myths about diabetes.

The Jenny Lind Diabetes team's podcasts have generously been funded through an £8,000 educational grant from Takeda and the podcasts have been produced by TWG.

Joshua Stone, age 15, and from Blofield, near Norwich, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes six years ago. Josh has listened to the new podcasts and found them very helpful: “The podcasts are really good and they helped me learn things about diabetes that I didn't know,” he said.

Dr Datta said: “We wanted to communicate with young people who have diabetes in a way that they could feel comfortable with and without patronising them. These are frank and honest podcasts that have been produced to speak to young people on their own terms and not in technical or medical language”.

Chris Nicolaou, regional account director with Takeda said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Dr Datta and other members of the diabetes team at the NNUH on this project. One of the key objectives of the Takeda regional account director role is to look for new and innovative ways to work with the NHS and help improve patient care. Podcasts are used extensively for both education and entertainment and it struck me that they could be put to very good use to further diabetes education”.

In May 2003 the Jenny Lind Children's Department at NNUH was also the first in the country to use text messaging to remind parents and carers of appointment dates. The SMS system was developed by the hospital’s Information Technology team and the Government’s Office of the e-Envoy.

Around 20 per cent of people with diabetes have the Type 1 condition and the number of children in Norfolk being diagnosed with this type of diabetes has increased by a third in recent years.

Levels of Type 1 Diabetes in children are higher in the UK than elsewhere in Europe and researchers predict the number of under-fives in Europe with Type 1 diabetes is set to double by 2020.

Type 1 diabetes means that someone's pancreas stops producing insulin and makes blood sugar levels difficult to control. As a result people with Type 1 diabetes need daily injections of insulin to manage their condition.

The Jenny Lind Diabetes team at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital currently look after over 345 children from Norfolk and Suffolk with Type 1 diabetes.

Dr Datta  also said the team is keen to get feedback from young people who have listened to the podcasts.

Tuesday 30th of June 2009 05:00:57 AM