THE NUMBER of people with diabetes in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire has reached an all-time high of 22,877 according to new figures released today by Diabetes UK Cymru.
The new figure, extracted from official NHS data and published at the start of Diabetes Week, shows that the sharp rise in diabetes cases in recent years is continuing with 177,212, people diagnosed with the condition across Wales. If this trend carries on then in ten years it is estimated that 288,000 people in Wales will have diabetes.
Many cases of Type 2 diabetes can be prevented – but there is no way of preventing Type 1. With so many people now living with the condition, NHS Wales needs to prioritise giving people the education they need to manage their diabetes well.
At the moment, diabetes education is barely provided resulting in devastating health complications, including amputation, blindness and stroke. Beyond the human suffering, diabetes costs NHS Wales nearly £500 million a year, 80 per cent of which is spent on managing avoidable complications. But there is potential to save lives and money through providing people with the education needed to help them self-manage and prevent these complications from developing.
Diabetes UK Cymru is calling on NHS Wales and the Hywel Dda University Health Board to ensure people living with diabetes in the areas are provided with education and support to manage their condition on a day to day basis effectively.
Diabetes UK Cymru’s Director Dai Williams said: “Over the last decade we have seen the number of people with diabetes rising at an alarming rate and these latest figures are a stark call to action – we must act now or face the very real danger of diabetes devastating the lives of even more people, and threatening to wreck the already over-burdened NHS.
“We know that most people newly diagnosed with diabetes are not offered a group education course. This is despite strong evidence that giving people the knowledge and skills to manage their diabetes effectively can reduce their long-term risk of complications.
“While Welsh Government made a commitment to improve access to timely structured education for people with diabetes 18 months ago, little progress has been made. Now, we need to see health boards across Wales making this a priority for their patients living with diabetes.
“Without this we will continue to deny people living with diabetes in Wales the best possible chance of living long and healthy lives.”
This Diabetes Week, Diabetes UK Cymru is urging everyone with diabetes to seek out the support and education they need. Find out more at diabetes.org.uk/diabetesweek or search #DiabetesandMe on Twitter.
NSPCC: Wales conference puts spotlight on domestic abuse
PROTECTING women and children from domestic abuse was the focus of a ground-breaking conference in Wales this week (Mar 28).
Organised by Cardiff University’s Exchange Network – with support from NSPCC Cymru / Wales and Welsh Women’s Aid – the event aimed to share information on the most effective approaches to tackle all forms of violence against women, domestic abuse and support for victims – be they adults or children.
Preventing violence from happening and protecting those who fall victim to domestic abuse formed the focus of the conference, at Cardiff’s Novotel Hotel.
Representatives from Welsh Government, Relate Cymru, Barnardos and Rape and Sexual Abuse (RASA) Centre also attended.
Domestic abuse continues to be a significant reason for young people to contact Childline. In 2016/17 volunteers at the NSPCC-run helpline undertook 120 counselling sessions with children from Wales who had concerns about abuse by a partner in their own relationship.
And 241 children from Wales contacted Childline to discuss parental domestic abuse.
Some young people who witness this also experience physical abuse by their parents. This can sometimes happen when they try and intervene in the abuse taking place, with some children telling Childline they were hit by their mother or father when trying to stop a fight.
“Sometimes my dad gets in a bad mood and gets really aggressive. He says horrible things to me and my mum and it scares me. In the past he was threatening to hit my mum, when I tried to get him to calm down he slapped me instead. I feel like neither of them listen to me and they don’t understand how upset it’s all making me.” (Girl, 16-18, Wales)
Head of NSPCC Cymru / Wales, Des Mannion, told The Llanelli Herald: “Domestic abuse can have a huge impact on a child’s physical and emotional wellbeing and it’s hugely important that we share information and discuss ways to both prevent violence and protect victims.
“We all have a part to play in tackling domestic abuse and it’s important to pick up the phone if you’re concerned so that our advisers can offer guidance and get help where it’s needed.
“Stepping in early helps to change behaviours and avoid abuse escalating, and putting the child at the heart of interventions is paramount in keeping children safe and limiting long-term damage.
“It is also vital that children and young people affected by domestic abuse have access to the right kind of support to overcome the trauma of witnessing and experiencing domestic abuse.”
Any child worried about domestic abuse can call Childline on 0800 11 11. Any adult who is concerned about a child can call the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000.
Pop-up craft stalls return to St Elli
LLANELLI’S St Elli Shopping Centre is once again playing host to a fantastic group of pop-up craft stalls today and tomorrow (Mar 1-2).
Following on from a highly successful outing just before Christmas, the ‘Pert A Blasus Pop-Up Emporium’ will see a variety of crafters take to the Atrium to sell their handmade crafts.
A group of friends who met whilst running stalls at craft markets around South Wales, Pert A Blasus brings together a host of skill sets and backgrounds – including a former kitchen fitter and scaffolder, a former clerical assistant, and a primary school teacher.
Primary school teacher Jill Davies has been crafting most of her life as a hobby; however, seven years ago decided to launch ‘Dzines by Jill’, which sees her hand-decorate plain pieces of ceramic and household items with her own unique designs.
Jill also organises her own ‘Made it Markets’ in Neath.
Also on board with Pert A Blasus is Steve Kennedy, who is the brainchild of ‘Cut n Scroll’, where he hand cuts items from wood and enlists the help of his wife Tanya for painting and gemming; Wendy Taylor, also a primary school teacher, who completed a precious metal course at Gower College and now makes her own items for her ‘Simplicity by Silver’ stall; and Jill James who runs her ‘Pretty Cute Fairies’ stall.
Bread and Jam for Christmas
A young woman with Spina bifida has been left alone in an empty home with nothing but bread and jam to eat and with no cooking facilities. Jackie lives a stone’s throw from Llanelli Town Hall and yet she claims she has been abandoned by the County Council, her AM, her MP and Social Services. She faces a wait until January 10 before service providers meet to discuss her case.
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