A TEENAGE health campaigner has taken her message to the corridors of power.
Poppy Johnson travelled to Westminster as part of a lobbying event organised by Diabetes UK, to highlight the essential care and support that every child living with Type 1 diabetes needs.
The 19-year-old, from Panns Bank, met Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott to call on her to commit to improving services for children with Type 1 diabetes.
Diabetes UK claims too many children with the condition do not get the essential checks and services they need to manage it.
The groups says that is reflected in the fact that 85 per cent of children with Type 1 diabetes have poor blood glucose control.
This puts them at increased risk of devastating health complications later in life such as blindness, amputations and stroke.
Poppy, who has Type 1 diabetes, directly appealed to Ms Elliott to demand health leaders commit to ensuring the resources are in place in Sunderland, so that those who need it have access to good healthcare.
She said: “I was delighted to meet with Julie, as it gave me the chance to raise my concerns about poor diabetes healthcare for children.
“Diabetes is a serious condition, but too many children with Type 1 diabetes here in Sunderland and across the country are not getting the essential care they need to manage their condition.
“I am also asking Julie to write to health leaders in Sunderland to urge them to commit to improving services to children with diabetes.”
Bridget Turner, Diabetes UK director of policy and care improvement, said: “It is unacceptable that so many children with diabetes are not getting the recommended diabetes care, services and support they are entitled to. All children deserve the best healthcare, and that is why change is urgently needed.
“We are pleased that Poppy went to London to make the case to MPs that they need to insist that this level of care is in place in Sunderland.
“We hope that their involvement helps raise the issue of Type 1 diabetes care among other parents of children with the condition.
“If people in Sunderland have a child with Type 1 diabetes, they should make sure they are aware of our Type 1 essentials for children and young people guide, which sets out the 10 things every child with Type 1 diabetes needs.”