Mid-Derbyshire’s Member of Parliament is backing a new campaign demanding action to improve access to diabetes education.
Pauline Latham OBE is supporting the call by Diabetes UK to ensure people with diabetes have access to the education and support they need to manage their diabetes well.
The charity is launching a new campaign, Taking Control, to call for education for all people with diabetes to be commissioned everywhere, along with a proper local system that explains to people with diabetes the benefits they will gain from attending an education course and ensures that courses are well run.
Mrs Latham said: “Diabetes is a very serious condition that can lead to devastating complications. 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 Mid-Derbyshire and across the country.
“I will be talking to local NHS leaders about what can be done to help ensure everyone with diabetes in Mid-Derbyshire 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.”
At the moment for individuals newly diagnosed with diabetes, less than one per cent of people with Type 1 and just 3.8 per cent with Type 2 are recorded as receiving a diabetes education course.
The charity warns that the poor delivery of diabetes education is fuelling health complications for people with the condition, and says it is also resulting in huge costs to the NHS, which spends nearly £10 billion annually on diabetes, 80 per cent of which goes on treating potentially avoidable complications.
Robin Hewings, Diabetes UK Head of Policy, said: “We are pleased to have Pauline Latham 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 was launched ahead of World Diabetes Day last Saturday.