Diabetes UK Scotland aims to catch the pre-election attention of Scotland's politicians by offering a free head and neck massage to Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) with each copy of the charity’s new manifesto.
At the Scottish Parliament today (pictured) the charity, which represents the interests of the 170,000 people in Scotland with diabetes, has organised a Diabetes Health Day for politicians and staff. The day will provide chances for MSPs, their staff and parliamentary staff to be tested for diabetes and blood pressure and enjoy complementary therapies such as reflexology and massage. The only condition is that they take away a copy of the 'Diabetes UK Scotland Manifesto 2007'.
“There have been a lot of positive developments in diabetes care since the last Scottish elections," said Audrey Birt, Director of Diabetes UK Scotland.
"In particular, the 2006–2009 Diabetes Action Plan has provided a real platform for further progress. At the same time we need to remember that diabetes is one of the fastest growing long-term conditions. Since the last elections 50,000 people in Scotland have been diagnosed with diabetes.
"Our manifesto is about both of these elements – recognition and support of progress and understanding the urgency and scale of the diabetes epidemic.
"The broad title of our manifesto is ‘Support to Live Well’. Today we’re giving MSPs a little bit of wellness for the day, which we hope will help them to better understand the relevance of diabetes as they head for this year’s elections.”
The manifesto has six key themes:
- Implement the Diabetes Action Plan by 2009 and update the action plan to 2012.
- Support people with diabetes to look after themselves.
- Retain entitlement to free prescription charges for people with diabetes.
- Educate non-specialist health care professionals about diabetes.
- Identify people with type 2 diabetes early.
- Ensure access to treatments and therapies.
Copies of the Diabetes Manifesto 2007 are available from Diabetes UK Scotland or can be downloaded on the right.
The Parliamentary Diabetes Health Day is being hosted by David Davidson MSP, Convenor of the Cross-Party Group on Diabetes and is being supported by Lloyds Pharmacy.