An examination of health inequalities in diabetes care in Leicester

Leicester transformed its diabetes services because of focused effort and investment by leaders in all part of the health and care system.

14 June 2021

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Leicester faces particular challenges in relation to diabetes because of the socio-demographic characteristics of its population. With high levels of deprivation and a large number of people from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, diabetes is a significant issue affecting the health of local people.

Leicester has been able to achieve a great deal of progress in its  diabetes services because of focused effort and investment by leaders in all parts of the local health and care system. Recognising  the interactions between poverty and diabetes and between deprivation, diabetes and poorer COVID-19 outcomes, the health  system has built on the experience of the past year to strengthen its links with different communities at a “hyper-local” level.

Primary care has played a particularly strong leadership role, but the approach in the city is genuinely system-wide and has  engaged the pharmaceutical industry in work to improve the  health of local people with diabetes.

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown into sharp focus the issue of health inequalities in the UK and demonstrated the need for a renewed focus on this deep-rooted and multi-faceted problem. The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and the NHS Confederation are partnering on a series of activities focused on this crucial issue. Our aim is to share learning and look at the opportunities for greater cross-sector collaboration between industry and the NHS to address health inequalities. This report is part of a joint programme of work.