Ahead of the Scottish council elections, Diabetes Scotland is calling for candidates to have a greater awareness and understanding of diabetes and the impact it has on people, communities and our NHS.
Over 2,500 candidates are standing in the local council elections on 4 May. This is the first election since the integration of Health and Social Care in April 2016. The newly elected representatives will be given the opportunity to influence health and social care in a more significant way than those at any previous election, with councillors nominated to sit on Integration Joint Boards alongside NHS Scotland representatives.
We are reaching out to candidates across Scotland to educate them about the condition which affects over 285,000 Scots and costs NHS Scotland £1 billion annually, with around 80 per cent spent on treating avoidable complications. We have provided candidates witha leaflet about Diabetes in Scotland (PDF, 80KB) outlining the key facts about diabetes and how it affects people and our health service.
Diabetes Scotland National Director, Kirsteen Murray, said: “This local election is a crucial vote for the health of Scottish communities. We must ensure that the candidates we elect are bold enough to address the important issues which affect us all.
“With one in four of us living with or at risk of diabetes, the time has come for a revolution in understanding of the condition. Everyone who is making decisions about health and social care must understand the real impact of diabetes on individuals, communities and our NHS. Furthermore, we must strive for high-quality, person-centred care that empowers people with diabetes to live well and reduce their risk of complications. In turn, we can reduce attendance at A&E, hospital admissions and length of stay to save NHS money.”
Diabetes Scotland is asking local council candidates to recognise health and social care as a priority issue for this election. They are encouraged to pledge their support for the diabetes community, ensuring that, if elected, they will listen to their needs.
People living with diabetes are encouraged to get involved by asking candidates to stand for the diabetes community - find out more using the#Stand4Diabetes on Twitter.