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Limerick Demonstration highlights lack of diabetes services on World Diabetes Day 2021

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World Diabetes Day 2021 – Midwest Diabetes Group holding a demonstration at University Hospital Limerick

Limerick Demonstration highlights lack of diabetes services on World Diabetes Day 2021

World Diabetes Day 2021 Organisers Ashling O' Kelly Erin Dolan Gráinne Flynn Aisling White Jean Langford

Organisers Ashling O’ Kelly Erin Dolan Gráinne Flynn Aisling White Jean Langford

The Midwest Diabetes Group held a demonstration at University Hospital Limerick to highlight the lack of services for people with diabetes on World Diabetes Day 2021 (WDD), Sunday, November 14. The organisers of the World Diabetes Day 2021 event are members from the Clare and Limerick Diabetes support groups and the event was attended by approximately 30 people from Clare, Limerick and Tipperary. 

In the past two years TD’s and Councillors have submitted parliamentary questions PQ to the Dail highlighting the lack of services for people with diabetes, several attended including TD’s Willie O’Dea and Kieran O’Donnell from Limerick. Most of the public representatives were surprised to hear that many people with diabetes present at the demonstration who live in Clare and Limerick choose to attend clinics in Galway, Cork, or Dublin because of the difference in the standard care provided by UHL with those services straining to accommodate the increase in numbers.

“Unfortunately, not everyone in Limerick is in a position to seek care elsewhere but they shouldn’t have to,” said Grainne Flynn, Diabetes Ireland Advocacy Group volunteer and organiser of the Clare Diabetes Support group.

PQ responses from UL Hospitals Group state that “in December 2020, UL Hospitals Group received confirmation of funding to recruit three additional dietetic posts for the treatment of adult diabetes’ and confirmed that the recruitment process for these posts is at an advanced stage. Additional funding was approved for two consultant endocrinology posts in addition to the existing 1.5 WTE and that “four Diabetes Clinical Nurse Specialist CNS posts have been approved for University Hospital Limerick. Of these, three have been successfully recruited and will commence this post over the coming months, the recruitment campaign is currently ongoing for the final CNS post. The insulin pump programme will be extended when all Clinical Nurse Specialists are in place and fully trained on the same. Unfortunately, it is not possible to give a definitive timeframe as to when this will commence.”

Despite this, the crucial positions for adequate staffing numbers for these services have yet to be filled and the position of a dietician for the adult diabetes service has not been filled a year after receiving national funding. Without these services, the adult diabetes clinic cannot, therefore, provide specialist type 1 diabetes education or offer insulin pump technology to reduce the risks of developing long-lasting complications such as amputation, kidney dialysis or vision loss. In addition to these issues, there is also the issue of the five-year waiting list on a first appointment to the adult diabetes clinic. 663 people are waiting on their first appointment to UL hospital’s outpatient diabetes clinic, with over half of those on the list 24 months or longer. This situation is unacceptable, and the group is concerned that this will lead to increases in the number of people with diabetes developing related complications such as foot ulcers and amputations; Limerick is already the second-highest percentage of diabetes-related lower limb amputations nationally.

Midwest Diabetes Advocacy group is calling on the Minister for Health to intervene at this point to enable ULHG to catch up with the standard of care provided by services in Galway, Cork, and Dublin. 

For more information about the event, Midwest Diabetes Advocacy group and #AccessToCare campaign visit HERE

or email: midwest[email protected]

For more stories on Diabetes go HERE 

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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