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Charity urges Government to step in and protect those with diabetes

Diabetes UK’s Chief Executive Chris Askew said a letter signed by more than 12,000 people is calling for the Government to support clinically vulnerable people at work.

 The organisation wants more robust protections and safety measures to be put in place to protect those with diabetes and other chronic health conditions.

Last week it was announced that shielding measures were to be eased and the 2 metre social distancing rule was to be reduced to just one.

Diabetes UK said that 64 per cent of the public think the Government should be doing more to protect those at work who have underlying health conditions.

Caroline, from London, has type 2 diabetes and has been constantly worried about her health throughout the pandemic.

The 60-year-old said: “I work in a small local supermarket where social distancing just isn’t possible and my diabetes is not on the company’s list of conditions for people that should be furloughed.

Speak to other people with diabetes:

“I tried my best to keep the 2 metre distance, but no one seems to care. Now that it is 1m+ – I’ve given up entirely. My stress levels have become unmanageable and I’ve decided to cut back my hours to try and stay as safe as possible.

“I will be losing out financially but if it is between my life or a paycheque – I know which one I choose. But some aren’t so lucky to be able to make that decision and the Government need to consider that.”

Mr Askew said: “The message from people with diabetes is clear; we want to go about our lives, but we’re deeply worried about our health as lockdown eases, and we want to know we’re going to be protected.

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“But what is also clear is that – with the next stage of the re-opening of the UK imminent – the needs of people with diabetes are not being properly considered. People with long term conditions cannot, and should never have been the Government’s blind spot. Lives are at stake.

“We reiterate our calls, which we have been doing for weeks, to ensure that people with diabetes are not forgotten, and that additional measures and safeguards are in place – and enforced – to keep them safe.”

In the UK there are 3.9 million people with diagnosed diabetes who were identified as being ‘clinically vulnerable’ by the Government. From Saturday, July 4, the official advice is those people can meet others outdoors but “should be especially careful and be diligent about social distancing and hand hygiene”.

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