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Diabetes UK Cymru urges next Welsh Government to tackle the diabetes health crisis


Diabetes UK Cymru has launched its manifesto for the Senedd elections on 6th May 2021 asking candidates to deliver change for people living with diabetes in Wales.

Wales has the highest prevalence of diabetes in the UK. There are around 275,000 people living with diabetes in Wales, which is around 1 in 13 people, and the condition is on the rise. The Covid-19 pandemic has made matters worse, as people with diabetes are more vulnerable to developing a severe illness if they do get coronavirus.

We are asking the incoming government for:

  • Improvements to the emotional support and psychological support available to those living with diabetes.
  • Improve access to technology that can help people manage their diabetes.
  • Continued determination to tackle the rise in type 2 diabetes, including interventions to tackle obesity and support to help people put their type 2 diabetes into remission.

Dai Williams, National Director at Diabetes UK Cymru said: “These three changes will reduce the harm diabetes does. People with diabetes have told us these are the changes that matter to them. If we deliver the change we need in our health services, we can not only improve life for people already living with diabetes, but also reduce the number of people developing potentially devastating complications. This action will help save our NHS money and deliver a sustainable healthcare service for future generations.”

Diabetes UK Cymru has been asking its supporters to write to their candidates through Facebook and Twitter to tell them it’s time for action.

Sarah's story

Diabetes UK Cymru campaigner Sarah Gibbs lives with type 2 diabetes. Her experience throughout the pandemic shows why good quality mental health support for people with diabetes is so important. Sarah said: “I was diagnosed with diabetes seven years ago, and I never realised the impact it would have on my mental health. My diagnosis led to me developing an eating disorder. I became extremely self-conscious, and I became withdrawn from friends and family. Throughout the pandemic, the burden of diabetes has left me depressed and anxious, on top of the social isolation I have experienced.

For people like me whose experience of mental health stems from their physical health condition – there is no support. That’s why it’s vital all parties commit to increasing access to specialist mental health support for people with diabetes in the next Welsh Parliament and why I am backing Diabetes UK Cymru’s manifesto.”

Why diabetes matters

  •  At 8.8% of the population, Wales has the highest level of diabetes in the UK.
  • The number of people with diabetes has doubled in the last 20 years.
  • NHS Wales estimates that 11% of our adult population will have the condition by 2030.
  • 10% of NHS Wales’ expenditure goes on treating diabetes or the complications of diabetes.

Read more of the latest diabetes statistics

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