The ALLIANCE’s new report details people’s lived experience of diabetes information and support in Scotland.

A refreshed Diabetes Improvement Plan was published by the Scottish Government on 25 February 2021. To ensure the delivery of the Plan is influenced and informed by people living with and/or at risk of diabetes, the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) and Diabetes Scotland have supported the development of a Diabetes Network to directly hear about people’s individual experiences.

The network brings together people affected by diabetes to discuss and feed back to the Scottish Government as the Diabetes Improvement Plan is implemented. One priority identified in the plan is to make improvements to the provision of information and support to people when they are diagnosed with diabetes.

To hear more about people’s lived experience of both diabetes information and support we organised an online survey, a series of focus groups and a workshop facilitated by Networking Key Services (NKS).

The learning from these engagement methods informs our new report, which highlights:

  • The demographics of those who shared their views with us;
  • People’s experiences of diagnosis and the initial support they received from their health care team;
  • The types of diabetes information and support that people said they would find helpful;
  • The importance of being able to access emotional and psychological support;
  • The flexibility required to make this support effective;
  • The barriers to accessing diabetes information and support;
  • And how to overcome these barriers.

People’s experience of diagnosis was mostly positive, with the majority of people sharing that they had been supported by their health care team to understand and manage their diabetes when diagnosed. Accessible information and support provided at an early stage influenced people’s perception of their diagnosis. There was agreement amongst our online survey respondents that people living with diabetes should have access to support for emotional wellbeing and mental health. And people stressed the importance of a flexible approach which is tailored around their individual needs.

If you have any questions about the report, please get in touch with us at

The full report and a summary of our key findings are available to read below.

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