More than sixty Diabetes Voices volunteers travelled to Westminster yesterday, to demand improvements to diabetes healthcare, as part of a lobbying event organised by Diabetes UK.
More than half of the campaigners held direct meetings with their MPs, to ask them to raise concerns, to the Minister responsible for Diabetes Care – Paul Burstow MP.
The attendees highlighted the need to make diabetes a higher priority locally and for MPs to demand an implementation plan for improving diabetes healthcare nationally.
Need for improved diabetes healthcare services
Diabetes Voices volunteers attended expert-led workshops for tips on effective campaigning, before meeting their MPs in the House of Commons.
They then attended a reception in Strangers’ Dining Room and heard from Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK; Adrian Sanders MP, Chair of the Diabetes All-Party Group; and Paul Burstow MP, Minister for Care Services.
The Minister recognised the huge variations that exist across the country, in access to the nine basic but essential checks outlined in the government’s own guidelines. He also recognised how important diabetes is – because of the links it has with cardiovascular disease and how ultimately it poses a significant challenge to the health system, if it is not managed well.
The Minister then outlined the Department’s plans to tackle the growing crisis, outlining a plan to publish a paper later this year, setting out the government’s approach to diabetes care including:
- a focus on prevention
- a focus on education and awareness raising, to enable people to better self-manage the condition
- joined-up integrated teams to manage the condition with the individual.
The reception also saw the parliamentary launch of Diabetes UK’s State of the Nation report, which has found shocking variations in diabetes care across the country.
Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges in the UK, but too many people across the country are not getting the basic checks and services they need to manage their condition.
15 Healthcare Essentials
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommends that people with diabetes should get a series of nine checks and services, which include measuring blood glucose levels, blood pressure, cholesterol, eyes, feet and kidneys.
These standards of care form the basis of Diabetes UK’s 15 Healthcare Essentials, which we believe should be offered and provided to every person with diabetes, no matter where they live in the country.