The Cross Party Group on Diabetes launched a report into the state of diabetes care in Wales, last week on World Diabetes Day.
The Minister for Health and Social Care, Eluned Morgan, addressed a Diabetes UK Cymru launch event for the report on Tuesday, November 14, at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff.
On the day of the inquiry report, Public Health Wales has published new predicted prevalence statistics for diabetes over coming years, showing a big increase in prevalence in type 2 diabetes.
The inquiry report notes the issue of increasing prevalence of diabetes in Wales, and makes recommendations for sustained funding for the All Wales Diabetes Prevention Programme; calls for the rollout of an All-Wales Remission Programme; and calls for action to target the obesity crisis through healthier food environments.
Rachel Burr, Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “We are delighted to support the CPG report, which acknowledges the hard work and dedication of clinicians providing care for people living with and at risk of diabetes in Wales, but also makes constructive recommendations for improvements.
“We know this is a tough time for our NHS and that the financial constraints are very challenging, but by listening to the people affected by diabetes, we believe it is not only possible, but essential, to prioritise and invest in projects and improvement work which offer maximum impact for their cost.”
She added: “Diabetes is serious and affects one in 13 people in Wales, and we must take action to reduce prevalence and support the people who live with and manage this condition every day.
“We need action around access to technology, addressing inequity in use of life-changing diabetes tech; investment in prevention and remission initiatives; and improvement in routine care for people with diabetes to help prevent the frightening complications that diabetes can bring.”
About the newly published diabetes prevalence statistics, she continues: ‘Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition, and we need to be doing as much as possible as a society to help reduce the number of people living with type 2 diabetes.
“The All Wales Diabetes Prevention Programme is a crucial way to support people to reduce their likelihood of developing diabetes.
“We need to see sustained investment in the programme to ensure that it continues and expands to become available for every person at risk of type 2 diabetes in Wales.
“The programme also needs to be part of a broader set of measure to create healthier food environments which support and enable people to make affordable, healthy food choices, as outlined in the Healthy Weight, Healthy Wales strategy.”
Jayne Bryant, Chair of the CPG on Diabetes, said: “After an extensive inquiry, the CPG is pleased to publish this report, which demonstrates the complexity of diabetes care and the need for comprehensive evaluation and improvement.
“The report sheds light on the challenges healthcare providers face and the impact on the quality and accessibility of diabetes care.
“By understanding the experiences of people living with diabetes, and looking at the data which demonstrates areas of improvement, we can work towards ensuring equitable access to diabetes care that can significantly improve the lives of individuals living with diabetes.
“The impact of obesity on diabetes has also been a key aspect of our inquiry. We have examined the effectiveness of measures undertaken by the Welsh Government through the Healthy Weight Healthy Wales Strategy and Health Boards to reduce obesity levels.
“The responses have provided valuable perspectives on the progress made and the need for further initiatives to address the continuing rise of obesity in Wales.”
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