NHS England to train staff to detect rare type of diabetes

People with a rare form of diabetes may receive better treatment and discover whether their children are affected under new plans from NHS England, The Guardian reports.

Monogenic diabetes occurs in two types: neonatal – which can present in babies within the first six months – and maturity-onset diabetes of the young that usually develops before 25. Approximately 12,000 people in England have monogenic diabetes. However, it can be hard to distinguish from Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Plans by NHS England to improve diagnoses of monogenic diabetes will ensure there is training and support for a designated nursing and medical lead in each NHS trust. Up to 280 staff are to be trained on how to spot the condition over the next year. Among the tools available to clinicians is an online probability calculator.

“Monogenic diabetes is difficult to diagnose, and we will more easily be able to identify those who need to be referred for genetic testing by training teams on monogenic diabetes in each trust,” said Prof Partha Kar, NHS national speciality adviser for diabetes.

The programme could help people receive better, more personalised treatment to help them manage their glucose levels. Genetic testing can also be used to determine whether the affected gene has been passed on to other members of a family.

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