Position Statements



. Access to medication and treatments
Diabetes UK believes that people with diabetes should have equal access to the best diabetes care and health outcomes available on the basis of clinical need and appropriateness, not on their or the NHS's ability to pay. It is unacceptable for people with diabetes to be deprived of (new) developments because of 'postcode prescribing' where access to treatment depends on where the individual lives or from whom they receive their diabetes care.
. Animal research
Diabetes UK appreciates that some people have concerns about the use of animals in medical research. However we are also aware of the important contribution that such research has made to improvements in life expectancy and quality of life enjoyed by people living with diabetes as well as the potential contribution it could make in the future.
. Aspartame
Aspartame (Nutrasweet) is one of the intense sweeteners used widely in foods, beverages and also as a tabletop sweetener. Like all intense sweeteners it is virtually calorie-free and does not affect blood glucose levels.
. Continuous glucose monitoring
Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) is another tool that is used in the monitoring of blood glucose to obtain optimal blood glucose control particularly in those with consistent glucose control problems on insulin therapy (1). It is useful to provide greater insight into glucose levels throughout the day, supply trend information, determine benefits (or otherwise) of medication changes and may help identify and prevent unwanted periods of hypo and hyperglycaemia (2,3).
. Dead in bed syndrome
'Dead in bed' syndrome refers to unexplained deaths in young people with Type 1 diabetes. Research shows little definitive evidence as to the cause of this very rare phenomenon. There is a small amount of published evidence looking at the condition. One possible theory has been a link to hypoglycaemia (hypo) during the night. It is suggested that this may compound an abnormal heart rhythm, which can cause death.
. Diabetic foods' and food labelling
Diabetes UK and the Food Standards Agency are calling for an end to the use of terms such as 'diabetic' or 'suitable for diabetics' on food labels.
. Early identification of people with Type 2 diabetes
Diabetes UK welcomes recent Government commitment in Putting Prevention First to deliver a Vascular Checks: Risk Assessment and Management Programme (VRAM) in England.
. Ensuring access to high quality care for people with diabetes
Diabetes UK and the Association of British Clinical Diabetologists (ABCD) believe that all people with diabetes should have equal access to the best possible diabetes care and health outcomes provided on the basis of clinical need.
. Fish and fish oils
Fish is a good choice for the protein portion of a balanced diet and can offer positive health benefits.
. Improving inpatient diabetes care - what care adults with diabetes should expect when in hospital
The problems surrounding inpatient care for people with diabetes have been long established and work is ongoing to address this issue. Diabetes UK invited people with diabetes to share their inpatient experiences and these highlighted concerns including; disempowerment, distress, a lack of staff knowledge including in the management of acute diabetes complications, issues with food and food and medication timing, medicines mismanagement, and a lack of information provision. It is vital that these issues are addressed to ensure people with diabetes receive high quality care.
. Individual Budgets, healthcare, choice and control
Government has demonstrated that it is committed to increasing the choice and control people with long term conditions have over their own care, and the need for tailored, personalised service provision.
. Insulin pump therapy
Insulin pump therapy should be offered as a treatment for diabetes to children, young persons and adults with Type 1 diabetes as part of a cohesive and comprehensive diabetes service.
. Integrated Care in the Reforming NHS: Joint Position Statement
Diabetes UK, the Association of British Clinical Diabetologists (ABCD), the Primary Care Diabetes Society (PCDS), Community Diabetes Consultants (CDC) and the RCN Diabetes Nursing Forum believe that all people with diabetes, including children and young persons, should have equal access to the best possible diabetes care on the basis of individual clinical need.
. Involving people with diabetes in health care planning and service development
Involving users in local planning and decision-making is the only way to create a health service built around the needs of those who use the service, rather than the needs of the system. Involvement of users in the design, planning, delivery and monitoring of local diabetes care services is central to achieving the NHS Plan vision, to "reshape the NHS from a patient's point of view"*.
. Islet cell transplantation research in the UK
The success of a novel islet transplantation procedure, called the 'Edmonton protocol' was reported in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, 27 July 2000. The article described how a team of researchers, surgeons and radiologists had successfully carried out a number of islet cell transplantations in people with Type 1 diabetes, in Edmonton, Canada.
. Patient Held Records
Diabetes UK supports any initiative that enables people with diabetes to be more involved with their own care. Patient Held Records (PHRs) can help people with diabetes to increase their knowledge of diabetes and their own health.
. Prioritising emotional well being
Emotional well being is an important part of the overall health of an individual. People with diabetes have a right to emotional support. Access to emotional and psychological support services for people with diabetes in the UK is variable and generally lacking.
. Prisons - Care of people with diabetes
Diabetes UK is aware that many people with diabetes in institutional settings, such as prisons, can find it difficult to manage their diabetes successfully, to limit the development of acute metabolic problems such as hypoglycaemia, as well as disabling long-term complications.
. Quality and Outcomes Framework revisions for 2008/9
The Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) identifies where practices have achieved set quality measures, financially rewarding them where they are able to demonstrate that they have met that level of quality.
. Retinal screening
Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people of working age in the UK. This is due to a condition called retinopathy. Retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the blood vessels of the retina.
. Safe disposal of needles and lancets (sharps)
Diabetes UK is aware that people with diabetes across the UK are not all able to access safe and convenient sharps disposal methods.
. Self-monitoring of blood glucose
People with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes should have access to self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) based on individual clinical need, type of diabetes, personal circumstances and informed consent - not on ability to pay.
. Smoking in closed public places
Diabetes UK supports the ban on smoking in closed public places, including the workplace, across the UK.
. Stem cell research and diabetes
Stem cell research is a relatively new area of investigation, believed by many in the scientific and medical communities to have important new potential for the treatment of many diseases and conditions particularly those like diabetes, which are characterised by severe damage to certain cells and tissues.
. Structured education of people with diabetes
Diabetes UK advocates that all people with diabetes, whether recently diagnosed or those with pre-existing diabetes should receive the structured education and support they need to enable them to manage their own diabetes.
. Sweeteners
The term "sweetener" is used to describe sucrose (sugar), fructose (fruit sugar), non-nutritive sweeteners (also known as artificial or intense sweeteners) and nutritive sweeteners (also known as bulk sweeteners).
. UKPDS - Implications for the care of people with Type 2 diabetes
The United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS), the largest clinical research study of diabetes ever conducted, has provided conclusive evidence that the life threatening complications of Type 2 diabetes (non insulin dependent diabetes) can be significantly reduced by appropriate treatment.

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