Diabetes rates are spiralling out of control in Wales, according to new figures which show that 35,000 people have been diagnosed with the disease since 2007.
The State of the Nation report by Diabetes UK Cymru reveals that some 160,000 people in Wales now have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and predicts that this figure will continue to rise at an alarming rate over the coming years – topping 250,000 by 2025.
It also highlights the poor state of diabetes care in Wales, with almost a third of diabetic inpatients suffering at least one NHS medication error. In addition, 70 per cent of adults with type 1 diabetes and 43 per cent with type 2 diabetes are failing to receive all the recommended annual tests for diabetes complications.
The report claims the country is in “a state of crisis” and calls for a number of urgent reforms to address this situation, including the appointment of an NHS lead on diabetes to co-ordinate delivery plans.
Dai Williams, Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “We are sleepwalking towards a diabetic society – a country where for many it is ‘normal’ to have diabetes by the age of 50, where NHS services are unable to cope and where thousands suffer the misery of sight loss, amputation, stroke, kidney failure and premature death.
“This report is a call to arms. We could just have more of the same well-intentioned aspirations that fail to be properly implemented, or the opportunity could be grasped to take the situation seriously and plan for a better future.”
Wales Health Minister Lesley Griffiths said consultation on a national diabetes delivery plan will start in December and will consider the report findings, as well as the Health and Social Care Committee’s inquiry into diabetes.
“A great deal of good work is being done by staff in NHS Wales to deliver diabetes care to the people of Wales. The Welsh Government and its partners need to build on this good work with a view to delivering a world class diabetes care service to the people of Wales,” he added.

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