Henry Smith MP met Diabetes UK in Parliament last week (on Wednesday, 23rd November) to show his support for their campaign calling on the Government to restore and improve diabetes care.
The Crawley MP met with Diabetes UK campaigners to pledge his support for the campaign and to find out more about the issues facing those living with the condition.
Earlier this year Diabetes UK revealed that thousands of people with diabetes are still struggling to access vital care. The charity warned that despite the tireless efforts of the NHS through the pandemic, many people living with the condition are still struggling to access the care they need, putting them at risk of serious complications, which can lead to premature death.
Yesterday (Wednesday, 30th November), Henry met with Novo Nordisk, whose UK base is in Crawley, at an event to mark 100 years since the first use of insulin to support a patient with diabetes, following its initial discovery in 1921.
“Diabetes cannot wait. It’s clear to me, from speaking to everyone here today, that the delays and gaps in diabetes care are causing tremendous damage. It’s hugely distressing for those living with the condition and can have a devastating impact on their health and wellbeing.
“I’m backing Diabetes UK’s call to rewrite the story of diabetes so that everyone living with diabetes can get the care and support they need.”
The charity says urgent action from the Government is needed, to support frontline healthcare teams in getting vital services back on track.
Just 39.2 per cent of people diagnosed with the condition in the south east of England have received all eight of the recommended care checks in 2020-21 with those from the most deprived areas least likely to have access to the care they need.
Jill Stanton, Head of South East Coast & London at Diabetes UK, commented;
“Too many people with diabetes have been waiting far too long for the care they need. Diabetes is serious and living with it can be relentless. If people with diabetes do not receive their regular checks and appointments with their healthcare teams, they face increased risk of devastating, life-altering complications and, sadly, early death.
“Action is needed now which is why we’re calling on the new Health Secretary to ensure his plans for the health services prioritise the recovery of diabetes care and to recommit to improving outcomes for people with and at risk of diabetes in his plans for the NHS. We’ll continue to press for a renewed focus on diabetes to get this essential, life-saving care back on track.”
To find out more about the campaign and to get involved, visit: www.diabetes.org.uk/diabetesisserious
Notes to Editors:
About Diabetes UK and diabetes:
1. Diabetes UK’s aim is creating a world where diabetes can do no harm. Diabetes is the most devastating and fastest growing health crisis of our time, affecting more people than any other serious health condition in the UK - more than dementia and cancer combined. There is currently no known cure for any type of diabetes. With the right treatment, knowledge and support people living with diabetes can lead a long, full and healthy life. For more information about diabetes and the charity’s work, visit www.diabetes.org.uk
2. Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. If not managed well, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of preventable sight loss in people of working age in the UK and is a major cause of lower limb amputation, kidney failure and stroke.
3. People with type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin. About 8 per cent of people with diabetes have type 1. No one knows exactly what causes it, but it is not to do with being overweight and it is not currently preventable. It is the most common type of diabetes in children and young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly. Type 1 diabetes is treated by daily insulin doses – taken either by injections or via an insulin pump. It is also recommended to follow a healthy diet and take regular physical activity.
4. People with type 2 diabetes do not produce enough insulin or the insulin they produce does not work properly (known as insulin resistance). Around 90 per cent of people with diabetes have type 2. They might get type 2 diabetes because of their family history, age and ethnic background puts them at increased risk. They are also more likely to get type 2 diabetes if they are overweight. It starts gradually, usually later in life, and it can be years before they realise they have it. Type 2 diabetes is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity. In addition, tablets and/or insulin can be required.
5. About 2 per cent of people have other types of diabetes. Other types include 11 different forms of monogenic diabetes, cystic fibrosis related diabetes and diabetes caused by rare syndromes. Certain medication such as steroids and antipsychotics, surgery or hormonal imbalances could also lead to other types of diabetes.
For more information on reporting on diabetes, download the Diabetes UK journalists’ guide: Diabetes in the News: A Guide for Journalists on Reporting on Diabetes