A PAEDIATRIC dietitian based with Bolton NHS Foundation Trust is influencing the care of young people across the country.

Steffie El Hassan has drawn up a series of leaflets designed for young people to educate them about their condition and develop a healthy relationship with food.

Now those leaflets are being used by paediatric dietitians across the country through the National Children and Young People’s Diabetes Network.

The literature, entitled "Enjoyable Eating with Diabetes" is aimed at young people with Type 1 diabetes.

Steffie said: “I’m really proud of the work that we’re doing, which is a reflection of great collaborative working.

“It’s great that the interest has spread nationally and is helping others.

“We knew there was a leaflet about food and activity, produced by University College London Hospitals, for under-fives living with diabetes, but nothing available for older children.

“When writing the leaflet I was careful with word choice, so as to be realistic around the food issues that can occur with diabetes but not use words which may be uncomfortable.

“It was checked over by a range of dietitians, psychologists and parents to make sure it was as helpful as it could be.

“It’s starting to be recognised that living with diabetes for a child and their family can have a significant impact on food and eating.”

The leaflets were developed as part of a wider project to support children with diabetes, which began in 2019.

After discussing the condition with children and their parents, dietitians and psychologists found that diabetes can have a huge impact on eating.

The experts found that there were not enough resources available to support families.

Steffie, who works in the paediatric diabetes service, took the lead to develop a series of leaflets for young people and their parents.

The leaflets were reviewed by other health professionals and piloted with service users before being adopted by the North West Children and Young People’s Diabetes Network.

‘Enjoyable Eating with Diabetes’, the first leaflet which Steffie created, is now shared with families across the country at the time of diagnosis to help ensure a positive approach to eating from the start.

Further leaflets for younger children and parents, as well as teenagers, have since been developed for use a few weeks post diagnosis.