Today the Northern Ireland Audit Office launched their 'Type 2 diabetes prevention and care' report which highlighted the opportunities missed in improving diabetes care.
Diabetes UK Assistant Director for Local Impact, Dr David Chaney, said, "Whilst we welcome this Type 2 diabetes prevention and care report and the much needed attention given to diabetes in Northern Ireland, we know that progress has been slow and that has caused frustration. We know there are over 100,000 people living with diabetes in Northern Ireland and that number continues to rise year on year. We cannot afford to ignore this serious, lifelong condition because if it is not managed well it brings with it, devastating complications such as lower limb amputation, kidney failure and even blindness. Effective strategies to reduce incidence and complications for people already living with the condition are now required.
"People living with diabetes have varying experiences of their healthcare, information and support throughout their diabetes journey. That is why the Diabetes Network has got to implement a regionalised approach to diabetes care so that everyone accesses the same, best possible care for their diabetes. For this, it needs resource, both in workforce and in funding to see meaningful change that improves outcomes for people living with diabetes. We know a published strategy document of itself does not guarantee successful implementation on the ground as this Audit Office report warns.
"We welcome the hard work that has gone into getting the Diabetes Network up and running and now we need to see implementation and delivery across Northern Ireland. We know of many best practices and examples of excellent care taking place that will make a positive impact to the local diabetes community. Diabetes UK calls for delivery on the Diabetes Strategic Framework published in 2016 and targeted investment in preventing Type 2 diabetes and its complications. We look forward to continuing to work with everyone involved in the Diabetes Strategy and will ensure that the voice of people living with diabetes is heard."