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Diabetes Scotland Campaigns


Campaigning for change

Diabetes is one of the fastest growing health crises of our time, with almost 340,000 people living with diabetes in Scotland. Rates of diabetes are rapidly increasing, with diabetes diagnoses more than doubling in the last 20 years. A large part of this rise is due to the growing rate of type 2 diagnoses.  

Diabetes Scotland campaigns to make sure diabetes is kept high on the political agenda. We lobby for improvements and raise awareness of diabetes and issues which affect people living with the condition through activity in the Scottish Parliament.  

Data shows that we are still seeing vast inequalities across Scotland with people from areas of multiple deprivation more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes and experience poorer outcomes. People living in poverty are over twice as likely to get type 2 diabetes and over two and half times more likely to develop life-changing complications such as heart problems and strokes.  

We have to address inequality in a holistic way to ensure that everyone is supported and empowered to live healthy lives.  

It is estimated that the NHS in Scotland spends almost £875 million a year on diabetes care, about 4.5% of its budget. 55% of this is on avoidable diabetes-related complications.  

Shifting the dial from crisis to preventative care would help to reduce the harm from diabetes, allowing people with the condition to live well while, ultimately, reducing the cost to the health service.   

We also need cross-government and cross-system action in Scotland to address the social determinants of health.   

We believe that everyone should be able to have what they need to live healthy lives – and it’s time to make that happen.  

Diabetes Tech Can’t Wait   

Diabetes technology can be life-changing for people with any type of diabetes relying on multiple daily insulin injections. But far too many people in Scotland are missing out, unable to access the technology that people tell us is life changing.  

So, in March 2023, we launched our Diabetes Tech Can’t Wait campaign. 

With the Tech Collective, a group of people passionate about access to tech because they live with diabetes and know the difference it can make, we united 1,400 campaigners to call for fair and equal access to diabetes tech for everyone who could benefit, regardless of postcode and without having to fight for it. 

In November 2023, at a reception in Parliament on World Diabetes Day, we were proud to stand alongside supporters to launch our Diabetes Tech Can't Wait campaign report to 100 stakeholders that included MSPs, healthcare professionals, third sector organisations and people living with diabetes. 

Our report shares our learning from the campaign, bringing together insights from people who have accessed or tried to access diabetes tech. It reflects on areas of good practice in the NHS and considers innovative approaches to prescribing tech. Importantly, it sets out clear recommendations for the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland to continue their crucial work towards delivering fair and equal access to diabetes tech. 

We have made progress 

On 28 May 2024, the Scottish Government announced up to £8.8 million in new funding for diabetes technology that will ensure that all children and more adults living with type 1 diabetes in Scotland will have access to hybrid closed loop technology. 

This investment from the Scottish Government has come following pressure put on health decision-makers by thousands of people from all over Scotland. Together, we raised our voices and fought for improvement in access to this vital medical equipment that people living with diabetes tell us is life-changing.   

The additional funding clearly demonstrates that health decision-makers have listened to our insistence that Diabetes Tech Can’t Wait and that Ministers recognise that technology makes an enormous difference to people living with diabetes and their families.  

About the new funding 

Diabetes Scotland is working to understand the detail of this new funding allocation. Based on what we know, we have created this new Frequently Asked Questions page that we will update as we learn more.  

Other ways you can make a difference 

Join the Tech Collective

Find out about the Tech Collective and how to get involved in campaigning for fair and equal access to diabetes technology. This page also lists other ways you can make your voice heard. 

National standard for diabetes care that includes emotional support

As part of a UK wide campaign, we're calling for emotional support to be part of routine diabetes care in Scotland. Find out our recommendations and examples of best practice in Scotland on our campaign page

Diabetes Cross-Party Group

Diabetes Scotland acts as the secretariat to the Diabetes Cross-Party Group, which is open to everyone. We’d love you to come along and share your experiences of living with diabetes. 

To get involved email  

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