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Diabetes Is Serious

We are calling on UK governments to take action to ensure diabetes isn't left out of the conversation   

Diabetes is serious, yet people living with diabetes are struggling to access the care they need. The NHS is under immense pressure and action to tackle the backlog of care is still needed to support frontline healthcare teams in getting vital services back on track.     

We have warned that despite the tireless efforts of the NHS, many people living with diabetes are still missing out on the vital health checks they need, putting them at risk of serious complications, which can sadly lead to premature death. 

At the start of 2023, more than 13,000 people living with diabetes or caring for someone with diabetes across the UK filled in our survey about their experience during 2022.   

We’ve now published the findings for England which showed that: 

  • 48% of those who took part told us that they experienced difficulties managing their diabetes in 2022.   

  • 50% of them put this down to lack of access to their healthcare team. Other causes people pointed to include:  

  • 37% to not being as physically active or able to exercise as normal.  

  • 28% to the increasing costs of living.  

  • 27% to a change in eating habits. 

  • 38% of respondents found it difficult to make appointments for their diabetes checkups.  

  • More than half (52%) who had tried to get emotional or psychological support, faced difficulties doing so. 

The report also highlights that diabetes care is not recovering equally across England. People from the most deprived areas are more likely to report difficulties managing their diabetes, and more likely to cite a lack of care and support as a reason. 1 in 3 people in the most deprived areas found it difficult to contact their diabetes healthcare team in 2022, compared to 1 in 4 in the least deprived. 

"Diabetes is a complex condition and the repercussions over time are very serious, so I don’t feel a consultant can examine someone with just a checklist over the phone. There needs to be a commitment to manage my condition properly." 

Anthony’s story is one of many that shows why the Government urgently needs to do more to support people with diabetes: read his full story here.

What are we calling for?

We’re calling for action from the government and local health systems to rebuild access to quality routine diabetes care and prevention in a truly fair way.  

  1. The government’s Major Conditions Strategy should focus on improving diabetes care, to support everyone with diabetes to stay well, reduce the number of people developing devastating complications and reduce inequity. 
  2. The government should implement the 2020 obesity strategy in full and without further delay, including the restrictions on junk food marketing. 
  3. Local health systems should set out in their plans how they will catch up on the diabetes backlog and tackle inequalities in diabetes care. 

Our Diabetes is Serious reports

In England we’ve published the survey findings in our Diabetes is Serious 2023 report: Diabetes care: is it fair enough? which follows our 2022 report, Recovering diabetes care: preventing the mounting crisis

You can read about what we are doing across the UK and how you can get involved from our nations pages

How we've been campaigning recently

We've been sharing our manifesto for longer, healthier lives with politicians and policy makers to ensure diabetes care and prevention are a priority for the next Government. 

Read our manifesto for longer, healthier lives

To demonstrate some of the different challenges some of our community have faced, hundreds of you shared messages and artwork to show what it’s really like for you to live with diabetes day in, day out. We’ve turned all your messages into a giant scrapbook to share with MPs, which we took to Parliament on the 23 November 2022.

View the scrapbook

Getting politicians to understand that diabetes is serious is an important part of our campaigns. We know there’s no one better to get politicians to listen than people who know exactly what it’s like to live with diabetes. That’s why we have a team of Campaign Champions across England to help us improve diabetes care.

Find out more about our Campaign Champions

How can I support this campaign? 

We’ve got lots planned in the coming months to raise awareness with MPs and the UK governments. Diabetes is serious. But together, we are too.    

Sign-up for updates so you can keep in touch with the campaign and all the different ways you can get involved.  

Join our campaign 

How can I get support?

Get more information and support on all the issues raised in this campaign. 

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