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Diabetes UK Cymru response to new Quality Statement for Diabetes Care in Wales

The image shows a dark blue background with text that reads 'Diabetes Week 12 - 18 June 2023'

Today is a landmark day for diabetes care in Wales with the launch of the new Quality Statement on Diabetes Care delivered by Health Minister Eluned Morgan live at the Senedd in Cardiff. 

As we celebrate Diabetes Week 2023, Diabetes UK Cymru welcomes the Welsh Government’s renewed commitment to improving diabetes care across Wales.

This is the first Quality Statement for diabetes care in Wales and replaces the 2016-2020 Diabetes Delivery Plan for Wales. There are four main areas to highlight from a Diabetes UK Cymru perspective:

Diabetes care

One of the key highlights of the Quality Statement is the emphasis on delivering a person-centred approach to diabetes care going forward. Data from the National Diabetes Audit, has, year on year, highlighted that a very low number of people are receiving the diabetes care they are entitled to in Wales.

People with diabetes should expect to receive routine diabetes care which includes a series of checks every year. Receiving these checks is shown to reduce the risk of complications such as heart disease, hospitalisation and premature death.

In the most recent NDA Report Less than a third of people with diabetes in Wales (29.0%) received all their vital checks in 2021/22, compared to 41.0% before the pandemic. (England was 47.0% in 2021/22 compared to 57.3% in 2019). This figure is significantly lower than in England. 

Rachel Burr, Director Diabetes UK Cymru said:

“This new Quality Statement promises to use data to drive improvement, which we wholeheartedly welcome and we look forward to understanding how this will work in practice. Our hope is that this new approach will make access to diabetes care across Wales more equitable, safe, efficient, and effective.

"Delivery of routine diabetes care needs to improve urgently and needs to improve and we hope that the new Quality Statement, alongside strong processes for accountability, will drive improvement at health board and national level. 

"We look forward to bringing the voice of those living with diabetes as we continue to work with health boards and Welsh Government to support the implementation of the new statement and care pathways.”


We know that based on current trends around 1 in 10 people in Wales are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years, and our research suggests that, in some cases, type 2 diabetes can be prevented all together, with the right support from health care professionals.

That’s why we welcome the Minister’s focus on working with health boards to help reverse the worrying upward trend, and strongly support investment in initiatives like the All Wales Diabetes Prevention Programme, as well as positive change to food environments through Healthy Weight Healthy Wales strategy.

Mental Health

The new Quality Statement recognises that mental health support is an essential part of diabetes care. Living with diabetes can feel relentless, and we know that 55%of people with diabetes struggle to manage their condition and 31.6% of people living with diabetes lack access to emotional and psychological support(DiS Survey 2023).

Last year, Dr Rose Stewart launched her report – ‘Missing to Mainstream’ in 2022 which highlighted the lack of access to youth mental health services whilst moving from paediatric to adult care.

Access to technology

Diabetes technology has developed rapidly in recent years, offering life-changing ways to monitor blood sugar, administer insulin, and manage diabetes.

While many people in Wales use technology to help manage diabetes, there is still a long way to go to ensure access to the best technology is available to everyone who needs it.

Earlier this year, Diabetes UK Cymru asked people living with diabetes in Wales to complete a survey as part of its Diabetes is Serious Campaign (DIS). Our DIS survey asked respondents (living with type 1 diabetes in Wales) how technology helped them manage their diabetes:

  • 85.0% of respondents with type 1 diabetes using technology agreed it helped them to manage their diabetes in 2022
  • 75.4% said it improved their overall well-being
  • 60.0% of respondents informed us that diabetes technology made remote consultations with their diabetes team easier

Leanne Jenkins, Clinical Advisor Diabetes UK Cymru said:

“We hope to see the Quality Statement provide improved access to technologies across Wales, particularly with new and exciting options such as hybrid closed loop, sometimes known as ‘artificial pancreas’ becoming available for some.

"As a charity we are doing a piece of work to understand the experiences of people living with diabetes by asking them to complete a survey about their use of and access to technologies to support them in managing their condition.

"Technology allows individuals to manage their care at the touch of a button with consistency and autonomy, something which we are passionate about here in Wales – empowering people with living with diabetes to manage their own care in a way that works for them.

"Diabetes UK Cymru has been working with the team at NHS Wales App which allows patients to view health records and manage appointments, to develop a dedicated resource centre for those living with diabetes which we are hoping will be launching soon which will further develop the digital care we can offer to patients in Wales.”

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