Catherine McKinnell, MP for Newcastle North and member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Diabetes, is backing calls from the charity Diabetes UK for sustained funding to continue improving treatments and care for people affected by the condition.
Diabetes UK carried out a consultation with 9,000 people of different ages, ethnicities and backgrounds from across the UK, who shared their experiences of living with diabetes today, and what their hopes and fears were for the future.
Participants identified a number of ways that would make living with diabetes more manageable, including making support for emotional and psychological health more widely available, and better access to healthcare professionals, new technologies and treatments. Respondents also said that they wanted to see better education and information about managing diabetes, and greater support and understanding for people with diabetes at work and at school.
People said they hoped in the future to see more research into a cure, better treatments for all types of diabetes, and to see more done to prevent Type 2 diabetes.
These findings have informed Diabetes UK’s new Future of Diabetes report, which was launched at a recent event in Parliament held to mark World Diabetes Day.
In response, Diabetes UK is urging the Government to radically improve health outcomes for people with diabetes, by committing to sustaining transformation funding at current levels of £44 million until at least 2021. The charity is also calling on the Government to challenge the food and drink industry to make their products healthier, build on the work outlined by the Childhood Obesity Plan, and commit to specific measures on front-of-pack food labelling, and tackling junk food marketing to children.
‘I know from family experience that, for someone living with diabetes, the condition affects every aspect of their lives: at home with family, mealtimes, work, exercise and socialising. A lack of understanding about diabetes in the health service, in the workplace, at school and in society generally can also lead to people feeling isolated, misunderstood and stigmatised.
‘We must listen to what people with diabetes are telling us, as their needs and experiences must be central to the care and support they receive.
‘I will do all I can to ensure all my constituents are supported with their diabetes and that those at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes know what they can do to reduce this risk – including by lobbying the Health Secretary about Diabetes UK’s important new campaign.’
Diabetes affects more than 4.5million people in the UK and the number of people living with diabetes is rising quickly. Every day, around 700 people are diagnosed with diabetes, which is equivalent to one person every two minutes.
More information about Diabetes UK’s Future of Diabetes campaign can be found here.