Diabetes staff and charities celebrated at Downing Street reception

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NHS staff and diabetes charity workers from across the UK were celebrated at a Downing Street reception hosted by Theresa May today.

Those attending the reception included children and adults with diabetes, people who care for those with diabetes, specialist NHS staff and academics and innovators looking at prevention, care and researching for a cure.

The Prime Minister has Type 1 diabetes and wears a small sensor to measure and monitor her glucose levels. She spoke about living with diabetes and encouraged the young people there not to let diabetes ‘get in the way’ of achieving their goals. She also heard from guests about their pioneering work in this field – including from those who were developing new apps to help people monitor their condition.

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

I will never forget the shock I felt when I was told I was diabetic. I imagine it must be the same for many people. It was not something I ever expected. And to be honest, I didn’t know you could get Type 1 diabetes at my age.

But I will be forever grateful to all those who taught me how to manage my condition – and reduce the impact it has on my life.

The one thing I told myself when I found out – was that I was not going to let diabetes stop me from getting on with my life, and getting on with my job.

But it is only thanks to the advice and support I received that I have been able to keep that promise to myself – the help of my GP, the consultants – but also most memorably the clinical nurse specialists from my local hospital.

Theresa May gave special thanks to the many youth volunteers and fundraisers working within diabetes charities – as well as a number of children with diabetes who had excelled in sport, campaigning and raising awareness of the condition.

She also spoke to Chandrawati Mcculloch from the Royal Berkshire Hospital’s Diabetes and Endocrine Centre, and Karen Addington, CEO of the Juvenile Diabetic Research Foundation (JDRF).

The government has taken great strides to improve the lives of those living with diabetes, including doubling the funding for the NHS’s Type 2 diabetes prevention programme and introducing continuous glucose monitoring for all pregnant Type 1 diabetics on the NHS by 2020.

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