I’ve just returned from two weeks annual leave and was really impressed today to see a presentation from Kellie Barker, Lead Support worker at Kings Road in Hampshire (and keyworker to ‘C’). The presentation demonstrated the fantastic efforts the staff team at Kings Road have made in managing C’s complex diabetes type1.
Diabetes is a serious life-long health condition that occurs when the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high because the body can’t use it properly. Type 1 diabetes is an auto immune condition where the body attacks and destroys insulin producing cells, meaning no insulin is produced. This causes glucose to rise quickly in the blood.
C not only has complex diabetes, he also has a complex learning disability, so there was no standard solution to his diabetes and when he arrived at Kings Road, his condition had been badly managed and relations with the community support team had broken down.
The Kings Road staff team supported C to better understand his diabetes, better manage his insulin and also gave him restrictions with his diet, which although improved things, made his life more restrictive given it revolved a lot around eating the right foods at the right time. Even with these improvements, C’s insulin levels continued to fluctuate badly.
In 2015, the manager Sophie and Kellie became even more determined to make improvements for C. They re-established the relationship with the community health nurse and made visual representations of C’s glucose levels via colour coded spreadsheets. It took over a year to see success with staff working daily at some points with the community team, but C’s blood glucose levels are now stable. This is clearly represented by the graphs below:
Pink = too high
Green = about right
Blue = too low
C’s blood glucose levels in 2015
C’s blood glucose levels in 2016
The resulting health benefits to C are obvious but he is also now able to eat a less restrictive diet and can once again enjoy eating with his housemates and not feel so isolated because of his diet.
This is a great result and shows that with perseverance, creativity and good working relationships great results can be achieved which can make a real difference to a person’s quality of life.