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Welsh Government publishes new approach to tackle diabetes

13 Jun 2023 3 minute read
Diabetes test Photo Peter Byrne. PA Images

The Welsh Government has published details of a new approach for the NHS in Wales to improve diabetes care and support people with the condition.

Diabetes affects around 7% of people in Wales and the Quality Statement for Diabetes sets out the key service priorities and national expectations for the development of better diabetes care.

Whilst Type 1 diabetes affects around 16,000 people in Wales and cannot be prevented, more than 190,000 people have type 2 diabetes, which can be prevented or delayed.

Estimates suggest the prevalence of diabetes may rise to 10% of the population by 2035.

When diabetes is not managed well, it can result in serious damage to the heart, eyes, kidneys, and feet as well as cause diabetic emergencies for some people.

Part of the new approach will be the roll out of support to people who are at highest risk of diabetes and the introduction of new remission services for newly diagnosed people who may be able to reverse the development of the condition.

Additionally, £1m per year is being invested in the pre-diabetes prevention programme as part of the wider £13m investment under the Healthy Weight Healthy Wales Strategy.

National priorities

The Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan said: “Today’s quality statement sets out how the NHS will diagnose and help people to manage their diabetes.

“It sets out the national priorities for service development and has a specific focus on prevention of type 2 diabetes and more broadly the prevention of the serious complications that can come with diabetes.”

“Diabetes also has a significant impact on our NHS. We are investing in programmes that support people to reach a healthy weight – which is the best prevention against diabetes 2. However, it is clear that we must do more to prevent cases of type 2 diabetes, which make up about 90% of new cases.”

““We need to make big systemic changes to create environments which encourage people to be more active. In a similar way, we need to ensure that everyone in Wales is able to access affordable heathy food. These changes reach beyond the NHS and need everyone in our society to do their part including helping to take the pressure off NHS services.”

Rachel Burr, Director Diabetes UK Cymru added: “Diabetes UK Cymru welcomes the new Quality Statement for Diabetes Care launched today. As a charity, we’re hopeful it will bring about tangible improvement in care for people living with diabetes across Wales.

“Diabetes is relentless, it impacts every aspect of a person’s life, and the lives of those close to them. People with all types of diabetes need access to routine screening and care, psychological support, and the offer of new technologies to be able to manage their diabetes in the best way possible.

“With delivery of care in Wales still recovering from the pandemic, and further challenges now as we face a cost-of-living crisis, we look forward to bold changes in governance and delivery of care, so that everyone living with and affected by diabetes has access to equitable and consistent support and care.”


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Diawl Blin
Diawl Blin
10 months ago

“We need to make big systemic changes to create environments which encourage people to be more active. In a similar way, we need to ensure that everyone in Wales is able to access affordable heathy food. These changes reach beyond the NHS and need everyone in our society to do their part including helping to take the pressure off NHS services” Can’t argue with that. But why, oh why, is the elephant in the room always ignored? Ultimately, people are fat because they’re too stressed and busy to look after themselves, and to manage their diet and activities properly, and… Read more »

Diawl Blin
Diawl Blin
10 months ago

Ha ha! Didn’t take long for Nation to start censoring me. And so the dream of diverse opinion in Welsh media is postponed again.

Evan Aled Bayton
Evan Aled Bayton
10 months ago

Routine GAD and C-peptide testing of all newly diagnosed diabetics would be a good idea for precision diagnosis. Type one diabetes does occur in older adults as for example the Spraket of the Commons and Theresa May both discovered.

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