The Diabetes UK Tackling Inequality Commission panel met for the first time on Monday at our London headquarters, as part of our efforts to tackle poor access to care for some people with diabetes. Here’s what happened at the event, why this research is so important, and what the commission’s plans are for 2023.
This was the first meeting of the Tackling Inequality Commission panel, which took place at Wells Lawrence House, as the commission launched its efforts to determine the biggest challenges for people with diabetes facing health inequality.
What is the Diabetes UK Tackling Inequality Commission?
The Tackling Inequality Commission was set up in 2022 and consists of a panel of experts, including healthcare professionals, social policy experts and people with diabetes, which will review evidence of health inequality across the UK.
Health inequality is more likely to be experienced by Black African, Black Caribbean, South Asian people, and those living in deprivation.
What happened at the panel launch?
In Monday’s first meeting, the panel heard personal experiences of health inequality and discussed how to ensure the voices of those who live with diabetes are represented and heard throughout the work of the commission.
The panel was chaired by, Dr Faye Bruce and Professor Linda Bauld.
Dr Faye Bruce: the Chair of the Caribbean & African Health Network (CAHN) a national organisation which was formed in 2017 as a result of her PhD.
Dr Bruce said of the panel meeting:
“There will not be a simple or single solution to the questions posed in this commission, so I am looking forward to developing a structured and long-term approach to drive ongoing change.”
Professor Linda Bauld: the Bruce and John Usher Chair in Public Health in the Usher Institute, College of Medicine at the University of Edinburgh and Chief Social Policy Adviser to the Scottish Government.
Prof Bauld added :
“I am delighted to co-chair this commission. It will continue the work that Diabetes UK has started in seeking to narrow the gaps in health inequality in diabetes and I’m looking forward to hearing from such a wide range of voices who will contribute to the final report after a great start today.”
Panel member Councillor Waseem Zaffar said of the meeting:
“I have lived with type 2 diabetes for 16 years and know so many other people at risk of and living with diabetes in my community. It was great to be able to share my experiences and hear from such a wide range of other perspectives alongside the researchers, campaigners and clinicians involved who all shared the same commitment to reducing health inequality in diabetes."
Read Waseem's experience of type 2 diabetes
What else is happening in 2023?
Throughout 2023 there will be a series of workshops to agree on recommendations, in partnership with people experiencing health inequality. The commission will then publish a report in Autumn 2023 providing specific recommendations for Diabetes UK, researchers, healthcare professionals and the NHS.
These recommendations will ensure the voices of those at risk of and living with diabetes are heard and will extend to the wider system of the local and national government, other charities whose work affects people living with and at risk of diabetes and employers and private industry.
There are lots of ways to get involved with the commission’s work. NHS England and Diabetes UK are working together to collect examples of good practice working with people living with diabetes affected by health inequalities.
If you are living with diabetes and are Black, South Asian community or living in deprivation – join our communities in action group to hear about how to join in focus groups and other ways to tell us your story.
If you are from an organisation that supports people living with diabetes and would like to submit reflections or evidence on health inequality in diabetes to the commission, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org