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How to engage with MSPs to make sure your voice is heard 

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Diabetes Scotland campaigns to fight diabetes. We campaign alongside those with or at risk of diabetes. We fight for better care for the millions of people living with diabetes and to prevent the rise of type 2.  

At times, you may feel you would like to contact your local MSP about an issue that affects you personally. Here we explain what MSPs do and how they can help. We also provide some useful tips to help you reach the right MSP and communicate your needs. 

What MSPs do 

MSPs take part in examining and passing Bills (proposed laws). They represent you in the Scottish Parliament and your local area and they examine the work of the Scottish Government. 

An MSP could also have another role, for example as a minister in the Scottish Government

How MSPs can help 

As your representative in the Scottish Parliament, MSPs can help in two main ways.  

When you contact an MSP about an issue, their office will decide whether the issue you are getting in touch about fits into one of two categories: is it a policy issue, or constituent casework. 

The difference between these is important as it changes how the office will assist. 

Policy issues, like a Diabetes Tech Can’t Wait campaign action you may have taken, will be sent to a parliamentary researcher who will handle the issue regarding the specific policy points and seek to get you an answer from the relevant sources. 

Constituent casework will see your contact with the MSP handled by a constituency caseworker who will focus on the issue as it relates to you personally. This means the caseworker will seek to find a resolution to the issues that are affecting you directly, such as your issue with access to tech in your Health Board. 

Contacting your MSP to tell them Diabetes Tech Can’t Wait 

You may have lent your support to our Diabetes Tech Can’t Wait campaign and been part of collective action. Contacting your MSP to ask them to help you access diabetes tech, personally, in your local area, is an important step you can take. 

What to do to raise a casework matter with an MSP 

When you write to the MSP’s office: 

  • Provide a description of the problem or issue. Be clear and as specific as you can about the issue facing you. For example, ‘I have spoken to my health care team, and they have said the waiting list is very long, so I won’t be able to get the tech anytime soon. 

  • Explain how the lack of access to tech is affecting your daily life. Tell them about specific aspects, for example how with not only affects the individual living with diabetes but the wider family, possibly school, university or work life, and how this affects emotional health and wellbeing. 

  • Outline what outcome you are seeking, and suggestions on what can be done to sort out the problem. For example.  getting access to a specific piece of diabetes tech such as a CGM, insulin pump, or hybrid closed loop. 

  • Include your postcode, along with the rest of your contact details. 

How to know which MSP to contact 

Use the following link to the Scottish Parliament webpage where You can enter your postcode on the Scottish Parliament webpage and find your MSPs. 

You will be presented with 8 MSPs you can contact. One is a constituency MSP and the other seven are regional MSPs. It does not matter which MSP you contact, either will be able to help you with your specific issue. It is up to you which MSP, who covers your postcode, you contact.

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