Campaigning in Wales
Diabetes UK Cymru campaign for better diabetes care and prevention in Wales through our Policy and Public Affairs work. Working together with members of the Senedd, the Welsh Government and other stakeholders to support the charity's vision of a world where diabetes can do no harm. We can change things for the better, but we need your support. Read about the campaigns we are currently focusing on below.
Diabetes Care in Wales
In January 2023 a Cross-Party Group (CPG) on Diabetes agreed to conduct an inquiry into current diabetes care in Wales. The aim of the inquiry was to both investigate current diabetes care in Wales and to share best practices whilst also identifying areas of concern. The CPG have now concluded the inquiry, please find the report and summary sheet below.
In the Summer of 2022, Diabetes UK Cymru conducted a survey amongst people living with diabetes, asking them to share their experiences and thoughts about living with the condition.
Most were frustrated with:
- the lack of access to psychological support
- the lack of appointments or contact with their GP
- the lack of understanding by the public (especially in the workplace) and healthcare professionals of their condition
- the offer of mental health support not being made or discussed.
After presenting this information to a cross-party working group on Diabetes, the Chair, Jayne Bryant MS wrote to Lynne Neagle, Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, asking for an update on what is being done to understand the current landscape of access to mental health services for people living with diabetes.
In her reply she stated:
“The All-Wales Diabetes Implementation Group has commissioned the Cambridge Diabetes Education Programme for a few years which also has modules on mental health in diabetes. We will consider with the clinical lead whether and how this can be further promoted across wider health care professional groups.
In addition, the forthcoming Quality Statement for Diabetes will set out that health boards should provide tools and appropriate support to people with diabetes to help address the emotional and psychological impacts of living with this condition and so I will expect to see how this is to be done reflected in health board plans.”
Following the Minister’s response, we continue to work to highlight the issue and increase access to and awareness of mental health support. Dr Rose Stewart and Diabetes UK Cymru are currently reviewing an update to the Survey conducted in August last year.
Wearable diabetes technologies help improve clinical outcomes while also providing a better quality of life for people who use them.
It allows people to take control of their diabetes and gives healthcare professionals access to data, improving the quality of remote consultations. This was vital during the pandemic, with the NHS under significant pressure and limited access to face-to-face appointments.
In March 2022, NICE (National Institute for health and care excellence) published new guidelines which recommend extending access to Flash and CGM (continuous glucose monitor) technologies for people living with diabetes – we reported on this here.
While NICE only provides recommendations for the NHS in England and Wales, we think that the health service across the UK should adopt these tech recommendations as the minimum standard.
Access to diabetes tech
Unfortunately, not everyone who could benefit from these life changing technologies has access to them.
Recent research shows that access is limited, particularly for people living in areas of high deprivation and those from minority ethnic groups. Around 70,000 people living with type 1 diabetes meet the NICE criteria for insulin pump therapy, but just 20,000 people are using one. Results of the recent NICE Consultation is yet to be published.
We are continually campaigning to help change things for the better in Wales. Ongoing work also includes:
- Better diabetes education in schools
- Increased support for remission services and the All-Wales Diabetes Prevention Programme.
- Diabetes UK Cymru are members of Healthy Air Cymru, calling for new clean air legislation in Wales to improve air quality and our health
- Cost of Living
For more information about our campaigns please contact Mathew.Norman@diabetes.org.uk.