New online tool to help Borders diabetics

WITh NHS figures showing that the number of Scots with diabetes is on the increase once again, people with the condition will now be able to get support through an innovative online service.

A new campaign - run in partnership with Diabetes UK- shows how a new online tool called ‘MyDiabetesMyWay’, will help people with diabetes manage their conditions more effectively through videos, educational tools and games containing information about diabetes.

In a world first, the interactive website also allows people with diabetes to view their up-to-date clinic results, treatments and advice online.

Figures published in the annual Scottish Diabetes Survey this week, show that the number of people with diabetes in Scotland continues to increase by around 10,000 each year.

There are now over 247,000 people with diabetes in Scotland- 4.7 per cent of the population.

The majority of those people - 217,500, or 88 per cent - have type 2 diabetes which can often be caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices and is also more common in older people.

Addressing the figures and the new online service, Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said: “Diabetes is a growing problem for Scotland – around £300 million of hospital expenditure relates to diabetes treatment and the management of its complications.

“Now, everyone living with diabetes in Scotland has the opportunity to view their own clinical diabetes data online. And by having access to the right information, people can be supported to self manage and radically reduce the risk of developing complications and serious health problems.

“I would strongly encourage people living with diabetes to sign up and see for themselves how this valuable resource can support them to self manage their condition.

“Not only will this mean they can live longer, healthier lives it will also protect NHS resources.”

Chief medical officer Sir Harry Burns commented: “The Scottish Diabetes Survey published today highlights the increasing number of people with diabetes that is directly related to the ageing of the population and unhealthy lifestyle factors such as obesity.

“We also need to maintain focus on preventing diabetes by tackling the underlying risk factors. Stopping smoking, eating better and taking regular exercise is something we can all do to make sure we are as healthy as possible.”

Director of Diabetes UK Jane-Claire Judson added: “The relentless rise in people diagnosed means that diabetes deserves immediate attention as a major public health concern.

“Meeting the challenge of diabetes requires the NHS, Government and society overall to take action to improve our nation’s health and together we need to ensure that those already diagnosed have the best support and care available.”

“Even with the pressures of ever increasing numbers, as indicated today in the new Scottish Diabetes Survey, everyone diagnosed with diabetes is entitled to the best diabetes care possible.”