Doctors leaders have said the work of primary care in managing diabetes in Wales needs to be properly resourced for the future.
BMA Welsh secretary Richard Lewis was speaking after the publication of the Welsh government’s vision to improve diabetes care.
Together for Health — A Diabetes Delivery Plan sets out a series of actions for health boards to carry out and focuses on three areas: patient education, a new diabetes patient management system and more support for children with type 1 diabetes.
The plan also sets out measures to tackle type 2 diabetes by encouraging healthier lifestyles through initiatives such as the Change4Life campaign.
Dr Lewis said BMA Cymru Wales supported the aspirations of the plan.
Access to services
He said: ‘We know that numbers of diabetes patients are increasing and it has the potential for lifelong consequences in terms of associated illnesses when it’s not managed successfully.
‘This plan focuses very much on type 1 diabetes and the need to ensure that children and young people get early access to specialist services, which is extremely important, at first diagnosis to ensure they have the appropriate information support to enable them to manage their diabetes successfully so they can have a normal a life as possible.
‘It is also important, however, that we focus our efforts on type 2 diabetes, which is also on the increase and we must recognise that specialist intervention in primary care and the services general practice provides are the mainstay of the support and care of people with diabetes.
‘It is important the amount of work undertaken by primary and community care is properly recognised and properly resourced for the future.’
Around 7 per cent of adults in Wales are being treated for diabetes and this is predicted to rise to 10.3 per cent in 2020 and 11.5 per cent by 2030.
Read Together for Health — A Diabetes Delivery Plan