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The tackling inequality in diabetes lab

This social innovation programme is a bottom-up, strategic response to improve outcomes for people who experience inequality in diabetes prevention and care.

Teams & Projects

Teams & Projects

Discover who we are and our work.


Read about our process.
Learning & Impact

Learning & Impact

Find out what we have learnt.

Why the Lab?

For reasons outside our control, many of us experience systemic, unfair and avoidable differences in diabetes prevention and care. Some of us are at higher risk of developing diabetes, have less access to care and have fewer opportunities to lead fulfilling lives. The connections between different kinds of inequality and the factors that drive them are often complex. Those of us who are Black African, Black Caribbean, or South Asian and those who are living in deprivation experience the greatest disadvantages. This is unacceptable!

We must do better! With this Lab, we aim to kick-start promising work to better understand and tackle inequality in diabetes prevention and care.


What is the Lab?

The Lab is a hub to bring together people with expertise and lived experience who share an interest in tackling inequality in diabetes. Together, they build a deeper understanding of inequalities and co-create and test new ideas for positive change.


Our Lab is:

· Social - our Lab participants engage with each other and the communities they serve to learn together and build relationships

· Experimental - our Lab participants use an ongoing, iterative approach to develop novel responses to complex challenges. They test and tweak their ideas until they found a response that’s working. They then integrate their final response into practice and find ways to scale it up

· Systemic – our Lab participants take a step back and understand the system they are trying to influence. This enables them to develop responses that address the root cause and not just the symptom of a problem.


Who is in the Lab?

Two individuals and eight teams of five to six people from different areas across England participate in the Lab space.


How does the Lab work?

All participants form a Lab community to share learnings and draw on expertise from others.

· Workshops provide touchpoints for teams to review progress, share learnings, learn about innovation methods, and plan the next steps to give focus to the time between workshops

· Between workshops, teams deepen their understanding of their local context. They establish the resources they need to tackle the challenge they chose to work on, and they connect with a network of people at the heart of the challenge

· Each team has access to a coach for additional support and can attend speaker events to learn from pioneers in the field.


What’s next?

1. This Lab is closing. We’re in the process of summarising our learnings and updating this website.

2. Diabetes UK is leading a Commission on the positive action needed across all sectors to narrow the gap for those experiencing health inequality. Click here to find out more.

3. Our final online Celebration Event will be on Thursday 20th April from 2-4 pm. The teams will present their work and share their learnings. If you are interested to join us, please drop us a line at the email below.


If you have any questions, please email

This is a Diabetes UK project. Boehringer Ingelheim, Abbott and Dexcom have partnered with Diabetes UK and provided funding for this project and input into its development. There was no involvement or influence in its conceptualisation or delivery.


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