Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges we face. There are currently 4 million adults (6%) in the UK diagnosed with diabetes with someone new diagnosed with the condition every two minutes. If not well controlled, diabetes can be serious, causing heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and amputation. Treating diabetes and its complications is estimated to cost the NHS around £10 billion a year, 10% of the total NHS budget.
In Greater Manchester there are around 200 000 people diagnosed with diabetes which will have a significant health impact for the region in the future.
It is only possible to better understand diabetes and bring about improvements in its prevention, treatment and care through research. It might sound obvious, but diabetes research can only take place with the help of people who have the condition.
The Greater Manchester ‘Help BEAT Diabetes campaign’ are using this year’s Diabetes Week (12-18 June) as an opportunity to highlight the importance of diabetes research and encourage those living with the condition to get involved with a wide range of NHS research opportunities in their local area. The team will be out and about promoting the campaign during the week as well as an radio advert on Smooth FM.
Katherine Grady programme development manager for the campaign explained, ‘People with diabetes are often passionate about understanding their condition and are very willing to help researchers learn more about the best ways of treating it; however it can be difficult to find out what research is going on locally and how to take part.
‘When you sign up to the Help BEAT Diabetes campaign we ask for some basic contact details and the types of research you are interested in – there are lots of opportunities from filling in simple questionnaires about living with diabetes to taking part in trials of new treatments. We then let you know what’s going on in your local area so you can get involved if you want’.
‘Over a thousand people across Greater Manchester took part in research last year after hearing about it from Help BEAT Diabetes. Lots of people tell us they enjoy taking part, knowing they are helping improve care and treatments for others in the future. Imagine what a difference we could make if even more people get involved!’
You can find out more about the Help BEAT Diabetes campaign and sign up online at www.researchforthefuture.org.uk or alternatively text research and your name to 81400 (standard text rate) or telephone the team on 0161 212 5574.