Diabetes 'epidemic' warning

A National Assembly for Wales Committee is calling for urgent action to address what it considers to be an 'epidemic' level of diabetes cases in Wales.

Fears of a diabetes 'epidemic' in Wales

There are concerns that people may be dying needlessly because the Government's own policy for tackling diabetes isn't working.

The disease can lead to heart disease and even strokes, and is now said to be reaching epidemic levels.

That's despite a ten year Government-led strategy designed to educate people about the complications it can cause.

Megan Boot reports on the failures to respond to a disease that ruins lives and is costing the NHS a half a billion pounds a year to treat.

Diabetes 'epidemic' fears: Welsh Government responds

We welcome the Committee's report and will follow up on the commitment that the Health Minister, Mark Drakeford has made to use the report's recommendations to inform our forthcoming Diabetes Delivery Plan. Diabetes is estimated to effect 5% of the Welsh population. We are well aware of the close links between lifestyle, obesity and diabetes and we are committed to making real progress.

The Health Minister will now consider the reports recommendations in detail before responding formally to the Chair of the Committee.

– Welsh Government spokesperson

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Diabetes 'costs NHS in Wales half a billion pounds'

Bowl of sugar
Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose in the blood is too high Credit: PA

The Health and Social Care Committee has warned that diabetes - and the additional health complications that often follow - is costing the NHS in Wales half a billion pounds per year.

"A failure to continue taking action will mean ever larger numbers of people with diabetes with ever larger numbers of complications," the Committee said.

"That would mean more people living with ill health. We should not simply accept that as inevitable.

"People with diabetes are more likely to develop heart disease, kidney disease, blindness or may require an amputation.

"All of this costs the NHS in Wales half a billion pounds every year and it's likely that this figure will increase as the number of people with the condition continues to grow."

Diabetes: 'More co-ordinated approach' needed

The Health and Social Care Committee has recommended that the Welsh Government take a 'firmer hand' in monitoring the provision of diabetes services among local health boards, in order to tackle rising levels of diabetes cases in Wales.

It has called for an emphasis on sharing best practice, when the Welsh Government announces its forthcoming Diabetes Delivery Plan.

The Committee has also recommended a 'more co-ordinated approach' across all healthcare providers, including GP and community pharmacies, to assist in monitoring each patient's condition and medication.

Calls for action over 'epidemic' in diabetes cases

A Committee at the National Assembly for Wales is calling for urgent action to address a diabetes 'epidemic' in Wales.

The Health and Social Care Committee has been told that five per cent of the Welsh population - that's more than 160,000 people - have now been diagnosed with diabetes.

An estimated 300,000 people have what is known as pre-diabetes, which means they have higher than normal blood glucose levels.

The Committee found that targets for tackling the problem set out 10 years ago in the Welsh Government's Diabetes National Service Framework are likely to be missed.