Diabetes Ireland today launched its 2018 Annual Report. During 2018, the charity continued to offer excellent support and services to people with diabetes and their families. From a service provision, demand on our services continued to increase. Callers to our helpline increased 10% year on year, the number of people attending our Care Centres significantly increased and we continued to target high risk groups through our health promotion activities by increasing their knowledge and awareness of diabetes and encouraging them to make positive lifestyle changes.
To enable children and teenagers with Type 1 diabetes and their families to meet each other, have fun and learn at the same time, we increased our Children and Family events to include a Type 1 Diabetes Adolescent Weekend camp in Barretstown and the Diabetes Junior Cup for children, teenagers and their siblings. Through our Sweetpea Kidz Club and the many Parent Support Groups around the country we continued to provide opportunities for parents to meet informally providing a great resource for each other.
HSE staffing for diabetes services continues to be a major issue. In late 2018, an HSE report on acute hospital diabetes staffing resources identified major deficits in current services. Among other things, it showed a 72% shortage of consultants in diabetes care, a 19% shortage of Diabetes Nurse Specialists and a 54% shortage of dietitians. Every diabetes service in Ireland is affected by shortage of staff.
At our Annual General Meeting, it was agreed that the development of HSE diabetes services was no longer being prioritised and more needed to be done. Since then, a new Patients Advocacy Group consisting of people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, parents of children with diabetes and carers has being set up to work with the board of directors to advocate for extra staffing resources and in the build up to the next general election. The HSE decision to put an age restriction on a new Flash Glucose Monitor, Freestyle Libre, was not acceptable to Diabetes Ireland and is another issue that Diabetes Ireland will continue to advocate strongly for.
Through the work of the charity over 50 years, people with diabetes receive free care and medications for their condition plus many other benefits which would not have happened without the continuing advocacy work undertaken by Diabetes Ireland. While there are many ways to support Diabetes Ireland, we want you to become and stay a member so we can mutually support each other.
Our goal is to support, educate and motivate the diabetes community. The charity needs you to support it to do that. We cannot express enough our appreciation of the on going support we receive from our current volunteers, fundraisers, healthcare professionals, members, employees, corporate supporters and the HSE for helping us help our community. We must all continue to work together for the Diabetes Community in Ireland so we can all live a long and healthy life.
If you wish to read the full report click Here
If you want to become a member of Diabetes Ireland click here