The number of diabetes-related deaths increased by almost 50% during lockdown, and the government should do more to keep at-risk people safe.
The call for action comes from the charity Diabetes UK, responding to recent data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which showed that on average almost 50% more people died per week with diabetes as the underlying cause or mentioned on their death certificate, in care homes, private homes and in hospital during lockdown – excluding those categorised as ‘COVID deaths’.
A large proportion of the excess deaths which occurred were in private homes, with an increase of 106%. Diabetes UK says the figures support the charity’s concerns that people with diabetes are not receiving the support and consideration needed from government to keep them safe, as lockdown continues to ease.
Helen Kirrane, head of policy, campaigns and mobilisation at Diabetes UK, said: “These harrowing statistics hammer home the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had – and continues to have – on thousands of families affected by diabetes.
“As lockdown measures ease further day by day, it’s important the seriousness of diabetes – in light of the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has on people with diabetes – is recognised by government.
“We’ve been calling on the government for months to take the specific needs of people with diabetes seriously, and to ensure that additional measures are in place to keep them safe.”