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Working with local healthcare professionals to fight health and tech injustice in diabetes care

SW conference professionals

Here at Diabetes UK (south west and south central) we work with local healthcare professionals (HCPs), to help improve diabetes care for people in the region who live with the condition. By working together, we can reach more people to ensure they’re getting the support they deserve.

We recently co-hosted a conference alongside NHS England South West, which saw over 70 HCPs from across the region get together to discuss practical solutions to combat inequalities in diabetes care.

If you’re a HCP looking for support from our local Health Systems team, please get in touch.

Tackling inequalities 

Phaedra Perry, Head of Diabetes UK – south west and south central, kicked off the conference on the day by acknowledging that whilst HCPs are likely to see inequalities in care day in, day out, it can be hard to know how to address these inequalities. The conference was a chance to explore this subject and discuss practical solutions. 

Phaedra explained that Diabetes UK would be providing more support in the coming months, with a report of recommendations that will help guide HCPs on how to address inequalities in diabetes care. She said:

“We’re going to be issuing a report of recommendations off the back of the work of our Tackling Inequalities Commission, which launched earlier this year. The Commission heard from those with lived experience of inequality, those working on the frontline, and experts on poverty, food and racism to develop a set of calls to action. These will help everyone, whatever their role, understand how they can start to address inequality in diabetes.”

The full report will be launched on 22 November, 2023. 

Group of people at a table brainstorming ideas.

Sharing insights 

On the day we heard from some incredible speakers including:

  • Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London, supported by Dr Jessica Allen, Deputy Director at The Institute of Health Equity, who set the context for the day with a fascinating insight into the social determinants of health outcomes. 


  • Dr Fulya Mehta, National Clinical Director for CYA Diabetes at NHS England, explored how we can use data to address health inequalities in children and young adults’ diabetes care.
  • Dr Alistair Lumb, Consultant in Diabetes and Acute General Medicine at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Vice Chair of the National Diabetes Technology Network, spoke about new technologies, the opportunities this tech can bring, and what the challenges of implementation are. 
  • Mike Kendall, who has lived with type 1 since the 1990s. He shared his experiences on living with the condition and spoke about the different types of tech he has used to help manage his diabetes. 

Find out more about our Diabetes Tech Can’t Wait campaign.

A new youth programme 

Diabetes UK staff talking through a presentation

The day was also an opportunity to launch our new youth programme. Our Youth Co-ordinator, Aled Newton, and our Youth Worker, Sophie Baldwin, gave an overview of the programme, which aims to provide vital peer support to children and young people aged 11 – 25 years old who are living with type 1.

"We hope to improve young people’s relationships with healthcare professionals by empowering them to communicate effectively with diabetes professionals to improve treatment, care and transition to adult services.” Aled, Youth Co-ordinator.

Keep up to date with local news and stories, including details of upcoming HCP events, by following our Twitter page. 

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