A few weeks ago, I was sat in a meeting room in the House of Commons for the All Party Parliamentary Group Diabetes meeting. This meeting was focused on assessing the uptake & efficacy of Libre (a flash glucose sensor device) that became available on NHS tariff 6 months ago.
There was a panel of four who presented around this issue, one voice who uses the Libre & has a child who uses it too, & three consultant voices, all hailing form different parts of the U.K.
As always, the perspective of the person living with Diabetes was powerful, as was her testimony of how beneficial this technology is for her & her son when managing their diabetes. However, hers is not the voice I wish to focus on in this post.
We all recognise how the voice of the person living with diabetes is the most important perspective, but in this meeting, it was actually the voices of the HCPs who chimed the biggest chord with me.
Criticising clumsy language from harassed HCPs is all too easy & can sometimes belie the huge amounts of pressure they are under from their managers. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the importance of using engaging & empowering language, but occasionally we can be too preoccupied with this & miss the bigger picture. Listening to the HCPs present in this meeting, I was struck by how little I read in the community about how life at the coal face for an HCP actually is. The pressure they’re under. The sadness & frustration they feel when they are unable to support a person living with diabetes in a way that makes life easier for that person.
The eloquent way these professionals spoke about their frustration & sadness around the current postcode lottery for access to technology to manage diabetes was heartbreaking. Busy clinics do not allow them the time between consultations to vent their frustrations at having to break the news to a family that they live in the wrong postcode for access to Libre, when their next appointment attendee, who may live 1/2 a mile away from the first, is able to access this technology for free. These professionals are caring people who’ve dedicated their lives to ensuring wonderful care for the people who need it. They never had a desire to be gate keepers & accountants. They went into medicine to improve people’s lot, not to preside over postcode lotteries & be the front line for people’s anger at the inequality of an imperfect system.
So today, I’m thankful to all of those HCPs. You are amazing in the way you fight for those whose care you are charged with. Thank you, for supporting, for championing & for absorbing the very real toll this imperfect system imposes upon you. Your efforts are noticed & valued.
And the impact your decision to dedicate your lives to caring for others is appreciated in more ways than you may ever understand. Thank you for caring. I’m only sorry we fail to say this often enough or acknowledge the toll it can take upon you. You’re appreciated beyond words. Thank you for fighting the corner of those who need you most.
A big thank you from a sunny paradise!