09 November 2015
Alan Meale MP backs new campaign calling for local action to improve access to Diabetes Education
Mansfield MP, Sir Alan Meale, is backing a new campaign by Diabetes UK that calls for local action to ensure that all local people with diabetes have access to the education and support they need to manage their condition well.
The charity is launching a new campaign, “Taking Control”, to call for education for all people with diabetes to have a proper local system that explains to people with diabetes the benefits they will gain from attending an education course.
At the moment individuals newly diagnosed with diabetes, less than 1 % of them with Type 1 and only 3.8 % who have Type 2 are recorded as receiving such a course.
Access to high-quality diabetes education is found to be essential for people with diabetes as they have to manage their condition themselves on a daily basis, and may only see their healthcare professionals a few times a year.
Diabetes UK has warned that the poor delivery of diabetes education is fuelling devastating health complications for people with the condition and huge costs to the NHS, because failure to manage diabetes effectively can lead to life-threatening complications such as blindness, stroke and amputations. Such complications cause personal devastation and are also extremely costly. Currently the NHS spends nearly £10 billion annually on diabetes, 80 per cent of which is spent on treating potentially avoidable complications.
Sir Alan Meale MP has added his voice to Diabetes UK’s campaign, which is calling for local health leaders to invest in diabetes education courses and increase the numbers of people attending, and to promote the benefits of diabetes education to people living with the condition.
Alan Meale MP said:
“Diabetes is a very serious condition that can lead to devastating complications. Many people in the Mansfield area suffer from it. This is why it is crucial that all people with diabetes have access to the support and education they need to help them manage their condition well. This would significantly reduce their risk of health complications, resulting in a reduction in the associated costs to the already stretched NHS both here in Mansfield and across the country.
“I will be talking to local NHS leaders about what can be done to help ensure everyone with diabetes in Mansfield gets the education and support they need to manage their condition well. And I have also written to the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt to check that there are plans in place to support Clinical Commissioning Groups to invest in diabetes education courses.”
Robin Hewings, Diabetes UK Head of Policy, said:
"We are pleased to have Alan Meale MP’s support for our campaign that aims to help people with diabetes get the education they need to ‘take control’ of their condition. The poor provision of diabetes education is fuelling a health crisis that is leading to soaring rates of debilitating complications, premature death and huge costs to the NHS. Giving people with diabetes the support and information they need to stay healthy will save lives and money.”
The ‘Taking Control’ campaign is launching on Wednesday 11 November, ahead of World Diabetes Day on Saturday 14 November. Join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #TakingControl.
To find out more about going on an education course, speak to your GP or healthcare professional. To find out more about the Taking Control campaign and how you can take action, visit www.diabetes.org.uk/taking-control.
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For further media information please contact Emma Edwards on 01376 505243 or the Diabetes UK Media Relations Team on 020 7424 1165 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For urgent out of hours media enquiries only please call 07711 176 028. ISDN facilities available.
Notes to editor:
- Diabetes UK is the leading UK charity that cares for, connects with and campaigns on behalf of all people affected by and at risk of diabetes. For more information on all aspects of diabetes and access to Diabetes UK activities and services, visit www.diabetes.org.uk
- In the UK, there are 3.9 million people who have diabetes of which 590,000 people who have Type 2 diabetes but don’t know they have it because they haven’t been diagnosed. 11.5 million people are at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and if current trends continue, an estimated 5 million people will have diabetes by 2025.
- Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. If not managed well, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications. Diabetes is the leading cause of preventable sight loss in people of working age in the UK and is a major cause of lower limb amputation, kidney failure and stroke.
- People with Type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin. About 10 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 1. No one knows exactly what causes it, but it’s not to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable. It usually affects children or young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly. Type 1 diabetes is treated by daily insulin doses - taken either by injections or via an insulin pump. It is also recommended to follow a healthy diet and take regular physical activity
- People with Type 2 diabetes don’t produce enough insulin or the insulin they produce doesn’t work properly (known as insulin resistance). 85 to 90 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 2. They might get Type 2 diabetes because of their family history, age and ethnic background puts them at increased risk. They are also more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if they are overweight. It starts gradually, usually later in life, and it can be years before they realise they have it. Type 2 diabetes is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity. In addition, tablets and/or insulin can be required.
- For more information on reporting on diabetes, download our journalists’ guide: http://www.diabetes.org.uk/Global/Homepage/News/Journalists_Guidance_Update_2015.pdf