Diabetes UK (diabetes.org.uk) is the largest diabetes charity in the United Kingdom. The organization supports individuals living with diabetes by providing information and resources, acting as an advocate for diabetes health services, and a funding source for diabetes prevention, treatment, and cure research. A large portion of what diabetes.org.uk is empower as displayed with their “Care. Connect. Campaign.” Branding. The organization’s self-defined values are: empowering, radical, expert, and influential. With a pedigree history, Diabetes UK was begun as the Diabetic Association, founded in 1934 by H.G. Wells and Dr. R.D. Lawrence taking the stance early on that patients should have an active role in their treatment and management.


diabetes.org.uk – Special Projects


In 2010 Diabetes UK did a “roadshow” through Great Britain stopping in 80 towns and cities, offering advice on healthy living, weight loss, and type 2 diabetes risk assessment to 10,000 people. Of those assessed, Diabetes UK found that over half were at moderate to high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Outreach efforts by Diabetes UK take into account the minority populations more heavily affected by type 2 diabetes, particularly those of Southeast Asian, African, and Afro-Caribbean decent. Enlisting “community champions” diabetes.org.uk works to spread diabetes awareness through culturally appropriate talks and risk assessment sessions in community centers.

As part of their advocacy efforts, diabetes.co.uk created the Diabetes Watch program to monitor the health care being provided to diabetes patients. Diabetes Watch created a checklist of 15 items for patients to look for when receiving care. Items include: measuring blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels and creating target goals; receiving a complete eye (especially retina) exam; monitoring kidney function every year; checking legs, feet, skin, nerve, and circulation annually; emotional support; guidance on education; and other forms of education and advice.


diabetes.org.uk – Funding Research


Diabetes UK spends an average of £6 million per year on type 1 and 2 diabetes research. Researchers led by Dr. Roman Hovorka of Cambridge University are studying artificial pancreases for type 1 patients. The “pancreas” is a sensor placed under the skin that sends minute-by minute glucose readings to a small computerized, external insulin pump that responds by releasing insulin into the body when needed. Researcher Professor Roy Taylor of Newcastle University led a “radical” study of the effects of an extremely low calorie (600 calories) diet on type 2 diabetes. Using a small test group of 11 people, Taylor found that at the end of the test period all subjects had reversed their type 2 diabetes. Further research is needed in order to understand the implications of the results and their possible applications.