Tag: Petitions

Raising awareness is key to early identification of Type 1 diabetes in children and young people.

Guest post by David Rowlands AM, Chair of the Assembly’s Petitions Committee.

On Friday 13 July, the National Assembly for Wales’ Petitions Committee released our report on a petition which calls for improved treatment of Type 1 diabetes in children and young people. The petition was submitted by the Baldwin family whose 13 year old son Peter tragically died as a result of not being treated effectively for Type 1 diabetes.

diabetes

The petitioners are seeking better recognition of the symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes amongst health professionals and the public in order to aid rapid diagnosis and treatment of children and young people with the condition. This is critical because, if left undiagnosed, the condition can rapidly become life threatening. Tragically this was the case with Peter Baldwin.

In particular, the family want to ensure that all GPs have access to finger-prick testing equipment which can provide an immediate indication about whether a child may be diabetic. It is also vital that health professionals are trained to recognise the most common symptoms of Type 1 diabetes – the Four T’s (Toilets, Tiredness, Thirst and Thinner).

Raising awareness with health professionals

There are approximately 1,400 children with diabetes in Wales, the vast majority of which (96%) have Type 1 diabetes.

Through considering the evidence in relation to this petition we discovered that there was a certain amount of, shall we say, non-recognition of the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes among health professionals. In particular there was some evidence that frontline staff were not particularly looking for Type 1 diabetes and that the disease wasn’t really a factor when trying to identify what was wrong with a patient.

The problem is of course, that many of the symptoms associated with type 1 diabetes are also associated with a number of other health problems. This means that when a patient goes to a GP they may be presenting a number of different symptoms that could be associated with Type 1 diabetes, but could also be indicators for other conditions, so the Committee has a certain amount of sympathy with GPs on that basis.

Our report contains 10 recommendations but if we were to highlight what we feel is the most important factor, it would be the training of frontline staff to recognise the NICE guidelines. Health professionals need to be very much aware that when patients are presenting these symptoms it could be an indication of Type 1 diabetes. The consequences of the disease not being detected and treated within a very short period of time can be, as we’ve seen in the very sad case of Peter Baldwin, absolutely tragic.

Turning scrutiny in to action

In the case of this particular petition, now that we’ve published our report and presented it to the Welsh Government that’s as far as we can go for the time being. It’s now down to the Welsh Government to decide what to do next and we would hope that they’ll act on our recommendations

We’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the bravery of the Baldwin family. By bringing this petition forward it meant they had to reenact and remember the very tragic circumstances of their experience quite some time after it actually happening. The Committee has been very supportive of the proposals they brought forward within their petition.

The great thing about the Petitions Committee is that it is a portal for people to get direct access to the Welsh Assembly. That means if people have concerns or issues that they want to bring to us, through the petitions process the issue will be looked at with the considerable scrutiny.

Whilst not every petition will result in a debate in the Chamber, the process of engaging with petitioners, writing to the relevant Cabinet Secretaries, getting the replies, writing to other stakeholders etc means that there’s a great deal that goes on. It might not be immediately obvious to the public in general but I can assure you that the high level of scrutiny is there for any petition that comes before the petitions committee.

We asked Beth how she felt about the report:

Read the full report: Routine Screening for Type 1 Diabetes in Children and Young People

David Rowlands AM is Chair of the Assembly’s Petitions Committee. The committee considers all petitions that are presented to the Assembly with at least 50 signatures.

Petitioning the Assembly is one of the most direct ways that a member of the public can raise matters of concern with the Assembly or suggest new policies and different ways of doing things.

You can find out more about how to petition the Assembly at assembly.wales/petitions and you can follow the Assembly’s Petitions Committee on Twitter at @SeneddPetitions.

 

 

Joyce Watson: “Petitions Committee discuss petition to establish a Welsh international cricket team”

As a Member of the Petitions Committee, I stepped in to chair the Petitions Committee meeting of 13 March in the Chair’s absence. Petitions Committee meetings always cover a varied range of subjects, but Tuesday’s meeting was particularly interesting, due to a lively discussion on the petition calling for the Welsh Government to support the establishment of a Welsh international cricket team.

The Committee first considered this petition in October 2011. After this, the Committee decided to collect balanced information on whether or not there was support for a national cricket team. This information can be found at the following link: http://www.senedd.assemblywales.org/mgIssueHistoryHome.aspx?IId=1901

Owing to the strong views that were expressed both for and against the petition, the Committee decided to bat it back to the respondents and discuss the issue. Key players invited to the discussion were: the petitioner, Jonathan Edwards MP, Mohammad Asghar AM, Sport Wales, Glamorgan Cricket and Cricket Wales.

The discussion covered many points, including the advantages and disadvantages of establishing a Wales team, the actual process of establishing the team and the effects on funding of the sport.

In addition, the effect on Glamorgan County Cricket Club was discussed. At the moment, Glamorgan participates in ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) competitions at the highest level and can bid to host test matches involving the England team at their home stadium. Cricket Wales argue that if Wales became an independent cricketing nation, Glamorgan’s status as a first-class county would be jeopardised, as would its ECB funding. However, others argue that as a member and guarantor of the ECB, Glamorgan could continue to receive funding and retain its status.

The discussion also touched on the Woolf review of the governance of the International Cricket Council, which recommended the simplifying of different levels of ICC membership, which could also have an effect on any independent Welsh team. The ICC is due to consider the report and its recommendations in April 2012.

All the points that came out of the discussion will be discussed by the Petitions Committee at its next meeting, on 27 March, at 9 am. You can watch the meeting live on Senedd TV or you can watch the meeting live from the public gallery in the Senedd.

I would like to thank all participants for attending the meeting, and was delighted to see the tweet from Jonathan Edwards MP: “sesiwn buddiol iawn ddoe, dangos gwerth fforwm fel pwyllgor petitions ir broses democrataidd”.

Roughly translated into English, it says: ‘a very beneficial session yesterday – it shows the value added to the democratic process by a forum like the Petitions Committee’.

Joyce Watson AM

Update from the Petitions Committee

The Petitions Committee considered a summary of your responses to the questions posed on this blog at the Committee meeting on 23 March.

At the meeting, the Committee agreed to send the summary of responses received to both the First Minister and the Llywydd to seek their views on your comments. Additionally, the Committee will be contacting the Scottish and Northern Irish Governments to find out how they celebrate success within the wider context of the UK honours system.

The Committee will next consider this petition, when it receives responses to these requests. We will keep the blog updated with progress on this petition. The Committee would, once again, like to thank everybody who contributed to this blog.

Welsh Honours System – have your say

*update*

As we have had such a good response to the request for views on a Welsh Honours System, we are leaving the blog open for comments for an extra week until 19 February.

The views will then be collated and considered by the Petitions Committee on 9 March.

An update will be posted here, once the Committee have considered your views.

Thank you for all your contributions so far.

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The Petitions Committee of the National Assembly for Wales is considering a petition that calls for the introduction of a Welsh Honours System. This would recognise significant achievements by Welsh people. The Committee is keen to find out what you think about it.

Do you think this is a good idea or not? What are your thoughts about this?

If you do think it is a good idea, who would you like to see honoured? What sort of activities do you think should be honoured, and how should they be honoured?

Do you have any other thoughts or suggestions about the issue?

Please post your comments below, or alternatively you can email us at petition@wales.gsi.gov.uk or you can write to us:

Committee Clerk
Petitions Committee
National Assembly for Wales
Cardiff Bay, Cardiff
CF99 1NA

The Petitions Committee has asked for views on this issue before, but are doing so again to ensure that more people get the opportunity to air their views.

If you want to be kept updated of progress on the issue, keep your eyes on this blog as we will provide an update once the Committee have considered the responses received.

All comments posted to the discussion forums will be pre-moderated by staff at the National Assembly for Wales, which means that posted comments will not appear instantly on the site. Moderation will take place between 9am – 5pm on Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays).