David Parry, from Anglesey, has type 2 diabetes and has been affected by the disruption of eye care services due to COVID-19.
Diagnosed in 2006, David had become very insulin resistant, which, coupled with an operation to remove part of his colon left him with a difficulty in managing the condition effectively.
In early 2020, he developed advanced retinopathy, an eye disease that people with diabetes more at risk of developing and that can lead to eye loss. David needed eye injections and laser treatment, but those have been delayed.
David said: “I am very concerned that the situation will get worse and that I am starting to lose peripheral vision, as I have not been able to receive treatment and screenings have not been offered and there’s been confusion. I feel like I have been forgotten”.
The former maintenance engineer, who’s married with two daughters is now retired on disability grounds.
“My life has changed completely. I spent most of the time shielding until recently and worrying about getting access to the services I had before. The eyecare is my main problem, but I also haven’t had blood tests or reviews, just phone calls. Talking to other people, I feel like it depends where you live in Wales and the UK to what diabetic care you receive and COVID-19 made it even worse.”
Josh James, Policy and Public Affairs Manager at Diabetes UK said:
“With services paused during the pandemic, more and more people are waiting for screening and for specialist referrals. This has added to an already backlogged system where many are waiting anxiously to see healthcare professionals. Diabetes UK Cymru are calling on Welsh Government to invest in diabetes services, as well as podiatry, retinopathy and ophthalmology as part of their post-covid build back better campaign.”