Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing has shown her support for tackling poor diabetes care by backing a call by Diabetes UK for a national plan to improve healthcare for people with diabetes.
Mrs Laing attended Diabetes UK’s parliamentary reception for the launch of its State of the Nation 2012 report, which revealed that just half of people with diabetes are getting the basic checks and services they need to manage their condition.
The charity is urging the Government to implement a national implementation plan for improving diabetes healthcare.
Diabetes UK also held a lobby on the same day at the Houses of Parliament where people with diabetes directly appealed to MPs and ministers to commit to improving diabetes services and care.
Throughout the day, many of those attending met with their MPs to share their stories of using diabetes services.
Mrs Laing said: “As the Diabetes UK report shows, people with diabetes are not getting the healthcare they need.
“If we don’t act now to improve diabetes healthcare then even greater numbers will be at risk of developing devastating health complications such as blindness and amputations.
“This is why I’m backing Diabetes UK’s call for a national implementation plan to improve care for people with diabetes.
“The Government must put diabetes at the top of its agenda if we are to prevent what is fast becoming a crisis, while in Epping Forest I will be talking to local NHS leaders to discuss what can be done to improve diabetes healthcare in the constituency.”
Diabetes UK chief executive Barbara Young said: “We are pleased to have Eleanor Laing’s support on what is a very important issue.
“Diabetes has become one of the biggest health challenges we face, with 3.7 million people with diabetes in the UK and seven million people at high risk.
“Our State of the Nation report shows many people with diabetes are being badly let down by the poor quality of services on offer, which puts them at increased risk of developing life threatening complications and premature death. This is simply not good enough.
“We need effective treatment, services focused on prevention, early diagnosis, and greater screening if we are to effectively tackle this issue.
“This is why we are calling for a Government implementation plan to deliver this. The human and financial cost is simply too big to ignore.”
Diabetes UK’s State of the Nation report can be downloaded at