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Britain's new government must make diabetes its healthcare priority

As the final results of the 2010 General Election are announced, Britain faces the uncertainty of its first hung parliament in 36 years. Politicians will now be frantically negotiating to decide the shape of the new government.

Diabetes UK is calling for diabetes to be made a top health priority to improve the lives of people with the condition.

Donna Castle, Public Affairs Manager at Diabetes UK, outlines the policies the charity would recommend the new government to prioritise from day one:

“Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing the UK today and it is getting bigger. There are currently 2.6 million people living with diabetes and a further 500,000 people who have the condition but don’t know it.  By 2025 it is estimated this will increase to over four million people – with approximately half of these new cases linked to obesity. Diabetes is serious. It can lead to life-threatening complications such as heart attack, stroke, amputation, blindness, kidney failure and nerve damage.

Number One priority

“The NHS currently spends approximately £1m an hour on diabetes and its complications, so it is vital that the new Secretary of State for Health makes diabetes the number one priority to ensure the NHS can cope with the increasing demands it will face from people with diabetes.

“The next Government needs to focus efforts on improving the health of the nation, supporting people to live a healthier lifestyle and reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

“It also needs to guarantee high-quality care for everyone with diabetes, no matter where in the country they live. NHS providers must prioritise the delivery of effective and efficient integrated care, where competent primary and specialist teams can work together to support people with diabetes to self-manage their condition.

A future without diabetes

“Finally, the Government must make research a priority to identify new treatments and search for a cure.  Only then will people face a future without diabetes.”

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