Roche Diabetes Care and Diabetes UK to collaborate to tackle inequalities in diabetes care

By Editor
9th September 2021
Diabetes care, Diabetes UK Good practice

Two leading medical organisations are partnering up to tackle inequalities in diabetes care across the United Kingdom. 

Roche Diabetes Care and Diabetes UK will collaborate on a project that aims to explore and address gaps in access to diabetes care and provision of services in ethnically diverse populations across four English regions.

In the UK, more than 4.9 million people are living with diabetes, with a further 13.6 million people at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Socioeconomic status and ethnicity have been shown to be important determinants of health inequality in general.

This is also shown to be true for people with diabetes, as demonstrated in a report exploring inequality of care for people with type 2 diabetes.

There is a complex interaction of multiple factors that influence this, which we need to gain a better understanding of if we are to be able to address the disparities in diabetes care.

The collaborative venture seeks to better understand the reasons behind why ethnic minority populations with, and at risk of, diabetes experience barriers in accessing diagnoses, services and treatment.

Important to the project is the ambition to provide the communities with the right information, support and interventions as identified by them, to access diabetes care and services, rather than provide solutions that are based on any assumptions.

Whilst there are many barriers to accessing diabetes care that are better understood, this project aims to explore more of the lesser understood barriers from the perspective of service users.

By working closely with communities in the four regions, the partnership venture aims to meaningfully engage with diverse communities to understand their needs, identify barriers in access to care, then co-create solutions to identified gaps.

The partnership will utilise existing community assets and networks to raise awareness, as well as to increase understanding of the condition to enable improved self-care.

This project seeks to bring a voice to those less heard and to support a person-centered approach to diabetes care.

Michael Goetzl, Managing Director Roche Diabetes Care UK & Ireland, said: “We believe that every person with diabetes should receive appropriate care and be supported to self-manage their condition effectively.

“To achieve our vision of truly effective personalised diabetes management for everyone living with diabetes we need to take into account diverse needs. Partnership and collaboration is crucial in order to fully achieve this.”

He added: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Diabetes UK on this exciting initiative that will help to tackle inequalities in access to diabetes care and services.

“We hope that by working jointly, we can achieve more than we would as individual organisations for these population groups, because of the overlap of our ambitions.”

The Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, Chris Askew said: “Diabetes is a very serious condition, and yet it remains one of the fastest growing health conditions of our time – with diabetes diagnoses more than doubling in the last 15 years.

“Sadly, we know that many people with diabetes experience care differently, and are affected differently by the condition, as a result of their ethnicity and background.

“As we look to the future, it’s more important than ever that we live in a society that addresses these long-standing health inequalities.”

He added: “Our partnership with Roche is an important step in helping to identify the roots of the problem and be able to address them for future generations.

There will be lots of exciting volunteer opportunities and key events for people who live with, care for or work within diabetes over the coming months.

“It is only by working together, and by placing the lived experience of people with diabetes at the heart of this work, that we will make a real difference.”

The project is underway with community engagement commencing in the North of England, the Midlands, London and the South West of England.

Photo by Hush Naidoo Jade Photography on Unsplash

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