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Sharing learnings from the National Children and Young People’s Diabetes Network

What does it take to improve outcomes for people receiving care from the NHS consistently and sustainably?

With increasingly complex systems and pressured services, the health and care sector cannot afford to work in a fragmented way. ‘Collaboration’ is a current buzzword in health and care, but it isn’t something that happens overnight. Meaningful collaboration takes time, resources and motivation – commodities that are in vanishingly short supply across much of the sector.

The National Children & Young People’s Diabetes Network has harnessed the commitment and enthusiasm of clinicians and families from 173 paediatric diabetes units across England and Wales to create a culture of sharing good practice and mutual learning, to improve the outcomes of all children and young people living with diabetes.

It’s about finding people who have got the drive and motivation to bring about improvements in care for children and people with whatever condition and getting those like-minded people together. That kind of joined-up working prompts enthusiasm, and spreads enthusiasm. If you’ve got that, then I think you can make a success of a network.

Jenny Foster, Children & Young People’s Yorkshire and Humber Diabetes Network


The Network shows the power of aligning and connecting efforts across the diabetes landscape.  It is comprised of five highly complementary components that when taken together create a whole significantly greater than the sum of its parts:

  1. Sharing framework
  2. National Diabetes Quality Programme
  3. Data and analytics
  4. Family engagement
  5. Funding

We’re delighted to have worked with the Health Foundation to share the story of the Network and explore the lessons and opportunities for policymakers, commissioners, administrators and clinicians seeking to harness the power of networks to improve care.

In this case study, we draw on insights from workshops and interviews with Network leaders to examine and showcase how the Network has brought together clinicians and families to improve the outcomes of children and young people with diabetes.

Kaleidoscope used a rigorous approach that enabled our leadership to reflect on the network’s progress to date and better understand how the network has contributed to improvements in diabetes care and outcomes. The case study report the team developed is highly professional and offers a very valuable description of the network’s journey, approach and achievements.

Dr Fiona Campbell, Chair, National Children & Young People’s Diabetes Network


Kaleidoscope Health and Care used a rigorous approach to develop a comprehensive case study of the National Children and Young People’s Diabetes Network and showcase its learnings. The team used an effective blend of interviews and workshops to enable network leaders to reflect on the network’s progress and evaluate its achievements. The team at Kaleidoscope has extensive knowledge and experience in network design, support and evaluation and brought this to bear to develop a thorough and highly engaging report.

Oli Smithson Programme Manager The Health Foundation

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