Opinion Former Article

Diabetes UK: Mother of five wins award for diabetes website

Preston Mum Angela Allison, winner of the Quality in Care (QiC) Diabetes People’s Award last week (Wednesday 17 November), was inspired to develop a website after her 10-year-old daughter Claudia was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes[1]. Spurred by the battles she and her husband Donald have faced since Claudia’s diagnosis on May 1 2008, and inspired by friends with diabetes, Angela set up Diabetes Power (diabetespower.org.uk), an online forum for other parents and children living with diabetes to share experiences.

High-res images of NHS Diabetes Director Anna Morten, Award Winner Angela Allison and daughter, Claudia, available to download here

The site also aims to raise awareness of Type 1 diabetes and the early warning signs. Through the site Angela has fronted a campaign to try and eradicate diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)2, a potentially-life threatening complication of undiagnosed and untreated Type 1 diabetes. It also provides people with diabetes and their parents and carers with factual information and news, as well as blogs and video stories which detail what it is like to live with Type 1 diabetes day to day.

Angela said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be nominated and to win the award, and what it means is hard to put into words. Since Claudia was diagnosed on May 1 2008, we have worked towards a Type 1 awareness campaign. To finally see the campaign moving forward means all the hours and the work have been worth it. If we prevent one person from being in DKA at diagnosis, the campaign will have been a success. Without the support of other parents with children with Type 1 and adults with Type 1 this campaign couldn't have started.”

Using social media Angela has extended the reach of the support the site provides. Many of Angela’s advocates know her only from the Diabetes Power Facebook page. Zoe Sherwood is one such Mum. When her son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes Angela pointed her in the direction of the online diabetic community.

“Angela is one of those people who always wants to help everyone and is really trying to push ‘Diabetes Power’. She has helped me no end and is one of those truly amazing women. She juggles being a wife and mother, caring for her five children some of whom have serious health issues, with supporting other people. I am delighted Angela has won the QiC Diabetes People’s Award; she really deserves recognition for what she does,” said Zoe.

Angela’s awareness raising and support activities span far beyond the internet and include petitions to Downing Street and taking part with Claudia in the Nipro Europe bike ride that started on November 16 from the Diabetes Centre at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth and saw mother and daughter cycle more than 150 miles to the NEC in Birmingham. To sponsor Allison and Claudia visit www.diabetespower.org.uk/index.php/the-ride

NHS Diabetes Director Anna Morton said: “Angela is a shining example of people power. Angela’s website has provided support, answers and awareness to people with diabetes and their families and carers. With all the changes taking place in the health service, the NHS needs champions like Angela to help make a difference to people with diabetes.”

The awards ceremony for QiC Diabetes was held at Sanofi’s headquarters in Guildford on Wednesday November 16. The programme has been developed by PMGroup with support from NHS Diabetes, Diabetes UK and Sanofi. Diabetes was chosen as the first therapy area to be covered by QiC due to the increasing need to find the best way to tackle the social and economic burden of the condition which now affects 2.9 million people in the UK.

A full list of results can be found at http://www.qualityincare.org/awards/diabetes/qic_diabetes_winners

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For further media information please contact Huw Beale on 020 7424 1152 or the Diabetes UK Media Relations Team on 0207 424 1165 or email pressteam@diabetes.org.uk.


For urgent out of hours media enquiries only please call 07711 176 028. ISDN facilities available.

Notes to editor:


1 Type 1 diabetes develops when insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed. This type of diabetes usually appears before the age of 40 and is the least common of the two main types and accounts for around 10 per cent of all people with diabetes. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, it is not known why it develops and it is not connected with being overweight. People with Type 1 diabetes have to take insulin either via a pump or by injections several times a day to stay alive. Type 2 diabetes develops when the body can still make some insulin, but not enough, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly (known as insulin resistance). Insulin acts as a key unlocking the cells, so if there is not enough insulin, or it is not working properly, the cells are only partially unlocked (or not at all) and glucose builds up in the blood. Type 2 diabetes accounts for between 85 and 95 per cent of all people with diabetes, usually affects people over 40 (over 25 in people from South Asian and Black backgrounds) and is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity. In addition to this, medication and/or insulin is often required. In most cases the condition is linked with being overweight and can go undetected for up to ten years meaning around 50 per cent of people show signs of complications by the time they are diagnosed.

2 Diabetic ketoacidosis occurs in people with diabetes when the body cannot use sugar (glucose) as a fuel source because there is no insulin or not enough insulin, and fat is used for fuel instead. As fats are broken down, acids called ketones build up in the blood and urine – high levels of ketones are poisonous and potentially fatalDiabetes UK is the leading charity for over 3.5 million people in the UK with diabetes In 2011, Diabetes UK aims to spend over £6 million on diabetes research to investigate the causes and prevention of diabetes, to improve care and treatment of diabetes and ultimately to work towards a cure. For more information visit www.diabetes.org.uk. In the UK, there are currently 2.8 million people diagnosed with diabetes and it is estimated that 850,000 people have Type 2 diabetes but do not know it.

3 Quality in Care is a series of programmes aimed at recognising quality and productivity in line with the Department of Health agenda around QIPP. The vision for QiC is to highlight good ideas, whether from an individual, a team within an organisation or a collaborative effort between organisations, recognise the best of them and share them as widely as possible across the NHS so that as many patients as possible can benefit from initiatives that have been designed and delivered by those who work in the healthcare community every day. Website: http://www.qualityincare.org Blog: http://www.qualityincareblog.org Twitter: @qicprogramme

4 NHS Diabetes is a service improvement team working with managers, commissioners and providers of diabetes services to improve the quality of care for people with diabetes. It is tackling unacceptable variation by providing information at a local level that highlights outlying performance and supports quality improvement http://www.diabetes.nhs.uk/

5 Sanofi is a diversified global healthcare company focusing on patient needs with the aim of becoming the partner of choice for those committed to improving people’s health. In the UK the company is aligned with the priorities of the NHS and focused on providing access to efficient and reliable medicines, and improving quality of life. http://en.sanofi.com/

6 PMGroup is a leading international multi channel media group, dedicated to the pharmaceutical sector, extending beyond the UK into Europe and the US. PMGroup core brands include: Pharmaceutical Market Europe; The Directory; Communiqué; PMLiVE.com; Communiqué Awards and the Pharmaceutical Marketing Excellence Awards (PMEA) http://www.pmgrouplive.com/

7 One person is diagnosed with diabetes every three minutes in the UK. Diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputation if not managed in the correct way. Diabetes, whether Type 1 or Type 2, is a serious condition. Diabetes costs the NHS £1 million pounds an hour. Almost one in 20 people in the UK have been diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes causes more deaths than breast and prostate cancer combined.

8 The Diabetes UK Careline (0845 120 2960) offers information and support on any aspect of managing diabetes. The line is a low cost number and opens Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm (and operates a translation service). Recorded information on a number of diabetes-related topics is also available on this number 24 hours a day.

9 Supporting our work as a ‘Diabetes UK Supporting Member’ entitles you to a range of benefits including our regular magazine Balance, reliable information booklets on diabetes, our confidential Diabetes UK Careline, over 400 local Diabetes UK support groups, and access to an exclusive personalised ‘Supporting Members Area’ on our website.

Diabetes UK is the operating name of The British Diabetic Association, a company limited by guarantee. Registered as a company in England & Wales No. 339181.Registered as a charity in England & Wales (No. 215199) and in Scotland (No. SC039136) VAT registration No. 232 3801 96. Registered address: Macleod House, 10 Parkway, London NW1 7AA.

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