Young People with Diabetes
Staying well if you have type 1 Diabetes means thinking about your diet, exercise, blood glucose levels and insulin (amongst other things). Teenage years can be difficult enough without this self-management work, and young people with type 1 Diabetes may struggle. Help is available in the NHS and from others with Diabetes but many teenagers do not engage with it, which could damage their long-term health.

In this project, User-centred Healthcare Design is working with young people with type 1 Diabetes and their families, and Rotherham Hospitals to devise a new support and information service to help teenagers fit Diabetes into their lives better.

We are using creative design workshops to design an innovative service that:

  • Focuses on young people’s whole lives rather than just when they use health services;
  • Joins up clinical expertise from inside the NHS and expertise in living with Diabetes from outside the NHS;
  • Explores new ways of interacting with a service that are more appropriate to teenage lifestyles and exploit the benefits of digital tools, such as text messaging and social networking websites.

At the end of this project we will produce digital tools and printed materials that enable teenagers and their families to access help and support more easily. We will also propose visions of systems and services that would reduce the impact of type 1 Diabetes on young people’s lives and increase their independence in future.

Further information about the Young People with Diabetes case study can be found here

Family Support Groups

In the Diabetes project UCHD has worked closely with two support groups for the families of young people with type 1 Diabetes from Rotherham and Barnsley.

We had met both groups separately in the early stages of developing our Diabetes case study and decided to bring them both together to form the principal participants in our service design project in July 2011. This has not only helped us develop some exciting design concepts but also brought the two groups of families closer together.

Both support groups have participated in a series of creative workshops to help us design an innovative new support and information service to assist young people in self-managing their diabetes:

  • They have shared what it’s like living with diabetes, including being diagnosed and using current NHS services;
  • They have shown how the current situation needs improvement in four different areas: in school, at home, in the clinic and in public places;
  • With us, they have developed exciting ideas for new services and systems in these areas which we hope to display at a public exhibition; and
  • They are helping us develop practical new services based on these ideas.

Rotherham Young Diabetes Association (RDYA)

RYDA is a group of families of children with type 1 Diabetes in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. Parents, carers and young people meet monthly to support each other in living with type 1 Diabetes. They also organise regular outings to have fun and socialise together. RYDA is coordinated by volunteer parents.

RYDA have a website:

Parents and Carers of Children with Diabetes Support Group, Barnsley 

This group of parents and carers of children with type 1 Diabetes are based in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. They meet regularly to support each other in living with type 1 Diabetes, and are coordinated by volunteer parents. The families’ young people do not typically attend their meetings although, since becoming involved in our design project, they have met other young people living with type 1 Diabetes in both Barnsley and Rotherham.