Mid and West Wales AM Rebecca Evans marked Diabetes Week by meeting with people living with diabetes at the National Assembly’s Senedd building in Cardiff Bay. The annual event, organised by Jenny Rathbone AM and Diabetes UK Cymru, offers an opportunity for people to meet with their AMs to discuss diabetes services in their area.
As part of this year’s Diabetes Week people across Wales haves shared their experiences of living with the condition. People who are affected by diabetes voiced their concerns about diabetes care in their area on a map of Wales, which was displayed at the event.
There are currently over 62,000 people who have diabetes in Mid and West Wales. It is estimated that there are 60,000 people living with diabetes who haven’t yet been diagnosed in Wales.
Eirian Jones, 45, has Type 2 diabetes and is a member of Diabetes UK Cymru’s ‘Diabetes Voices’, a network of people who want to influence and improve diabetes care in Wales. He met with AMs to discuss his concerns about the provision of structured diabetes education in his local health board and across Wales.
Mr Jones, from Pencader, said: “I am really pleased to have the opportunity to discuss my concerns about the local services available to people living with diabetes in my area. It is vitally important that people who have been affected by the condition share their diabetes stories so that they can help to improve the health care that they, and others, receive.”
Mrs Evans said: “It was good to have the chance to speak to service users and hear their stories. That is the best way to fully understand what is being delivered well in Mid and West Wales, and what needs to improve.”
Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “We want to thank all of the AMs and patients who attended this event. We are working hard with the Welsh Government to improve the care that people receive to help people living with diabetes to manage their condition. But, we’ll only know how successful we are being if we hear from patients about their experiences.
“More and more people in Wales are being diagnosed with diabetes and it is vital that their voices are being heard by their representatives. By taking the opportunity to share their stories people living with diabetes can really help raise awareness of the condition in Mid and West Wales and the impact it has on their lives.”