Chaired by Sir John Peace, Chairman, Midlands Engine, the Roundtable convened regional leaders as part of a wider programme of activity aimed at developing a ‘Regional Blueprint’ report – for addressing the impact of diabetes on individuals, the health service and the economy in the Midlands.
The ‘Regional Blueprint’ report will showcase the wealth of diabetes expertise in the Midlands, spread across top universities and academic institutions, research and innovation infrastructure, and the NHS. The Midlands has a large, diverse and growing population of people living with diabetes, which is benefiting from unique initiatives harnessing this regional research and clinical expertise to improve care and outcomes for people living with diabetes.
Diabetes represents a major challenge to the health of the Midlands population and economy. The Midlands has the highest prevalence of diabetes of all NHS regions, with 7.8% of adults (17+) having received a diagnosis. The condition increases the risk of serious health complications, such as heart attack, stroke, heart and kidney failure, amputation, blindness and hospitalisation or death from Covid-19.
Poorly controlled diabetes also has a significant impact on regional economic productivity. Research estimates that avoiding lost workplace productivity by improving type 2 diabetes control results in a potential saving over ten years of £1.7 billion across the UK – or £1,500 per person currently living with type 2 diabetes.
At the Roundtable, Melanie Davies, Chair of the Midlands Health Alliance offered brief reflections on: the prevalence of diabetes in the region; how people living with diabetes can be supported by the wealth of clinical and academic expertise in the Midlands; and how strengthening the link between research and clinical care further within the Midlands provides us with an important opportunity to continue to drive improved health outcomes for people living with diabetes across the region.
Dan Beety, Director of Corporate Affairs at Novo Nordisk, also spoke about the wider impact of diabetes and the important role of health in ‘levelling up’ economic resilience across regions and communities.
Novo Nordisk, which organised and funded the event, will now support the development of a short report based on the Roundtable, to be launched at a Midlands Engine meeting in Parliament for MPs from the region. The report will also support conversations with other regional and national policymakers and health systems to disseminate best practice approaches to improving diabetes care and outcomes.
About Novo Nordisk
Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company founded in 1923 and headquartered just outside Copenhagen, Denmark. Its purpose is to drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases such as obesity, and rare blood and rare endocrine diseases.
About Midlands Health Alliance
The Midlands Health Alliance bring together the Midlands world-leading health research infrastructure to ensure a step change in the quality and quantity of clinical biomedical research in the Midlands.