March was a dizzy month! – by Barbara Young


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What a month… My most pressing memories of the Diabetes UK Professional Conference, with over 3,000 professionals attending, was off running backwards and forward over the footbridge across to the BBC studios for multiple launches of our new Foot Campaign! Great to be back in my old stomping ground in Glasgow, where I ran my first hospitals light years ago.

March saw the death throes (or birth pangs?) of the Health and Social Care Bill, where despite heroic voting against the Bill, it went through on a solid coalition vote. Diabetes UK will fight to ensure that people with diabetes get a fair deal in the new health system.

March saw Diabetes UK making our case to MPs, ministers and shadow ministers, Monitor (the economic regulator of health care providers) and sundry assorted senior civil servants in the Department for Health in bucket loads.

We are now planning our Kids Campaign for the autumn/winter and seeing the finishing touches being put to the new membership materials. We need to attract as many people as possible to join as members of Diabetes UK to make sure our voice on behalf of people with diabetes has strength and to get to know people so we can serve them well.

Strange isn’t? Why is government giving big focus on dementia, with ministerial and prime ministerial attention, announcements and money, when there are nearly five times more people with diabetes which costs 10% of the NHS budget and is a major killer?

Have they got confused with their ‘d’ words? People with diabetes don’t need more money, they need people leadership from the top to ensure what money there is is spent sensibly on support for their own management of the condition and the recommended 15 care standards – along with risk assessment for those at risk of Type 2 diabetes, and early diagnosis of the condition. No brainer?

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I’m uncomfortable with your dementia comments Barbara. I don’t feel we should be “knocking” other conditions or the attention they receive.

Rather than putting down the support for other conditions, we should just seek to maximise our exposure and behave well, not have somewhat toxic competitive attitudes.

Yes there are finite resources in the world, but “our condition is worse than yours/spend on us instead” is just an attitude that doesn’t enhance anyone’s standing.

I’ve reflected for quite a few days and still feel strongly so thought I should post.