Diabetes in Scotland Improving the health outcomes for younger people with diabetes: from education to engagement
"The roundtable meetings and the report have been supported by Novo Nordisk. The views expressed in this report are those of the roundtable participants and not necessarily those of Novo Nordisk."
Foreword All over the world, younger people with diabetes are challenged by the demands of the disease, and their experience in Scotland is no different. In spite of service improvements in recent years and considerable progress in insulin therapies and diagnostics support, health outcomes for younger people in Scotland with type 1 diabetes are not showing any significant improvement. For some, complications manifest themselves in their early twenties, sometimes with alarming consequences. The Round Table was keen to see what it could do to identify ways in which younger people could be further supported in trying to improve their health outcomes. We had the advantage of hearing from four young people whose unique experiences informed the discussions of the Round Table. The Scottish Diabetes Group has helped to introduce improvements in a number of areas of support and service, and this is most welcome. It was however natural that the Round Table should want to see how more could be done, particularly for younger people, while at the same time acknowledging the current pressures on health service budgets. It was encouraging to see the innovation in services, particularly in the area of psychosocial support, and the diversity of provision is to be welcomed. But it can never be right that services, and access to them, are more available in different parts of Scotland, and it is a natural aspiration of the diabetes community that the best should be available to all. It was interesting too to have Søren Skovlund’s presentation on the international DAWN2 Survey, confirming the significant impact of diabetes not only on the person but on his or her family, in Scotland as elsewhere. The recommendations in this Report are offered as a contribution to the debate and discussion about what can practicably be done to help younger people live with their diabetes and achieve better health outcomes. Investing in the securing and maintenance of their good health not only improves their quality of life, but is a seriously worthwhile investment for NHS Scotland. We are most grateful to those who gave evidence to the Round Table, and to those who provided written evidence. I am particularly grateful to those who served as members of the Round Table and whose passion and commitment to making things better for young people with diabetes was inspirational. Thanks are also due to Lynda Gauld, Lorna Saunders and Rob Mackie for organising the Round Table and drafting the Report. On behalf of the Round Table, I also thank Novo Nordisk for the unrestricted grant to enable the Round Table to take place. And I remain personally deeply grateful to the doctors and healthcare professionals who work devotedly to help Scotland’s younger people with diabetes to have the best possible health and quality of life.
Sir Michael Hirst President International Diabetes Federation
Sir Michael Hirst and Nanette Milne MSP
As one of the co-convenors of the Cross Party Group on diabetes at the Scottish Parliament, I was delighted to be able sponsor these meetings. I was most impressed by the commitment of all those who attended and wish to play particular tribute to the young people with diabetes who came to share their personal experiences with us. Diabetes presents a challenge to the NHS and to service providers tackling the clinical aspects of the condition, but it is a particular challenge to those who live with it and no more so than during the transition from paediatric services to adult services; taking place, as it does, at a time of significant changes for them. To hear how this transition affects them was most insightful and invaluable to