We have received a number of comments on Facebook and some by email following a piece on Daybreak yesterday morning which did not differentiate between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes when talking about the fact that Type 2 diabetes can be prevented.
Several of you have said that Diabetes UK does nothing for people living with Type 1 diabetes. Here are just some of the day-to-day things we do:
• We invest in research that focuses specifically on Type 1 diabetes to increase understanding of the causes, to improve treatments, and to advance scientific knowledge in newer areas. The breakdown of scientific research we are currently funding, or have committed to fund as of September 2012, is as follows:
Type 1 diabetes – £7,166,447
Research that benefits all types of diabetes – £4,935,261
Type 2 diabetes – £8,585,224
• We hold special events and holidays every year, helping hundreds of children living with Type 1 diabetes and their families to understand and manage their condition better.
• We campaign to improve the lives of children living with Type 1 diabetes, as well as the families who look after them. We launched our children’s and young person’s campaign by raising awareness of the 4 Ts – the main signs and symptoms – of Type 1 diabetes. We sent campaign posters to thousands of GP surgeries across the UK, and we continue to distribute these to healthcare professionals, as well as to local community venues where parents, grandparents and other carers will see them. We undertook a major amount of press work to have the 4 Ts reported in a wide range of publications, including national newspapers like The Times and The Mirror, and specialist publications such as Pulse (for GPs) and Teach Nursery.
• Next week we are launching the second the phase of the campaign – focusing on improving the quality of care that children and young people with Type 1 receive. We want to make parents, young people, healthcare professionals, commissioners and parliamentarians aware of the support that all children and young people who have Type 1 diabetes should be receiving, and to improve access to high quality care so they are better supported through all aspects of managing their diabetes.
• We have worked to influence the government to make sure that people living with Type 1 diabetes have access to testing strips whenever they need them – resulting in the Department of Health sending a letter to GPs, pharmacists and hospital doctors telling them they should not be restricting testing strips.
• We have campaigned effectively in Scotland and England and achieved major improvements in pump services.
• We provide specifically tailored health information on our website and in freely available publications, and we also feature articles about Type 1 in Balance, our regular membership magazine.
And for people living with all types of diabetes, these are just some of things we are doing to improve their lives and the quality and level of care they receive:
• We run a Careline staffed by qualified counsellors who provide information and support to more than 30,000 people living with diabetes every year.
• We campaign to reduce the number of avoidable diabetes-related amputations through our Putting Feet First Campaign.
• We work at a national and local level to influence the government to improve diabetes services and to make sure people with diabetes receive the care they need.
• We hold local and national events for people with diabetes and for the healthcare professionals who are responsible for their care.
Apart from that, we spend an enormous amount of time trying to influence the media to differentiate between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Our Guide for Journalists is just one example of this. To highlight the issues we face when it comes to the media, one health editor said to us recently that he understands the importance of differentiation, but that if you spend your allocated minutes talking about the differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes you won’t have any time to talk about other important diabetes issues – like improving standards of care.
We will continue to do everything we can to support people affected by Type 1 diabetes, and to improve the quality of care received by everyone living with all types of the condition – judge us by what we do.