World Diabetes Day, the world’s biggest diabetes awareness campaign, was set up in response to the growing health threat posed by diabetes. By encouraging health care and other organisations to come together it aims to help people with diabetes feel more seen and heard. This year the theme is around access to diabetes care.
Dr Tahir, Clinical Diabetes Lead for the WY HCP and Bradford District and Craven System Programme said: “It’s almost 100 years since Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best discovered insulin – a medicine which has saved millions of lives around the globe and has been a catalyst for other life-changing initiatives.
“The last few years have also seen huge advances in the adaptation and take up of digital and remote technologies, providing alternatives for people to access the care and treatment they need to reduce the risk of or manage their diabetes. In West Yorkshire, for example, a third of GP practices are using Healthy.io allowing patients to use smartphone-powered home health technology to test for early signs of kidney damage. We also refer people to a number of national and local initiatives. This includes the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme; a free 12-week NHS Digital Weight Management Programme; and the Healthy Living app, a free online self-management support programme for adults with type 2 diabetes.”
The number of people in the UK living with diabetes is approaching five million with a further 12million at risk. Around 350,000 people are living in West Yorkshire.
Dr James Thomas, WY HCP Chair of the Clinical Forum and Clinical Chair of Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Type 2 diabetes is on the rise and perhaps the biggest threat to people’s health in this country with more people having the condition than cancer and dementia combined. It’s serious and can be a killer, if left unchecked, increasing the risk of heart attacks, stroke, kidney disease and blindness. It is, however, largely preventable and we are using World Diabetes Day to promote the various ways in which people can recognise the signs and take action to reduce their risk.
“We can’t change our age, ethnicity or family history – but we can take action to reduce our weight, waist and blood pressure. Even the smallest change can have a massive difference on our overall health and wellbeing.”
You can show your support for World Diabetes Day in various ways, for example, shine a blue light, wear blue for the day, change your profile pic, contacting someone you know with diabetes, paint your nails blue or put the blue circle – the global symbol of diabetes – in your window. There’s also a World Diabetes Day app which you can download and use to take selfies and tweet photos. Remember to tag in @WYPartnership and use the hashtags: #WorldDiabetesDay and #LetsDiaBEATthis.
As part of our Let’s DiaBEAT this campaign, WY HCP has produced a range of resources to support patients and staff including a video where we have animated Dr Waqas Tahir and which describes who is more at risk, how to recognise the signs of diabetes, what you can do about it and what support is available.
As well as the human cost, type 2 diabetes treatment accounts for around 9% of the annual NHS budget. This is around £8.8 billion a year and set to increase unless we focus efforts on prevention interventions
World Diabetes Day (WDD) was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organisation in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. It became an official United Nations Day in 2006 and is marked every year on 14 November, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922