Diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate, with 336 million suffers worldwide. To put this into perspective, this equates to the whole of the population of the USA. By 2030 the number of people with diabetes is expected to reach 552 million. Prevalence rates vary around the world. The UK incidence is estimated at 6-8% of the population.
In 2011 efforts were made to compile an accurate diabetes register, so that all people with diabetes could receive optimal care. Regular care and timely treatment of problems helps people with diabetes to manage their health effectively and to avoid the serious side effects associated with this disease. The register includes 2158 people with diabetes in Gibraltar at present (700 people were added to the register in 2011), This is around 7.5% of the population.
With an ever expanding case load, staff and patient education are of paramount importance in diabetes management. The goal is to enable people to care for themselves independently where possible, while ensuring that they receive the best possible care they expect and deserve when they approach or rely upon professionals.
The diabetes service is provided by a consultant physician, two diabetes specialist nurses, one paediatric nurse specialist, a dietitian, an optometrist and other health professionals as needed. The service is divided into a paediatric and an adult service.