A MEDICAL support group is hoping people in South Tyneside will log on to help establish a “one-stop” diabetes shop.
Claire Allom and Maria Ward are secretary and chairwoman of the South Tyneside Support Group for Diabetes UK.
For the last eight years they have been campaigning for a designated venue to help treat the borough’s 8,000 diabetics.
Already they have 244 signatures through online website campaign group 38 Degrees.
However, they want to collect as many as possible before they send their petition off to the South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (STCCG) – which is responsible for commissioning health services in the borough.
Mrs Allom, from Whiteleas, South Shields, who scooped this year’s Pride of South Tyneside Award’s role model accolade, said: “This has been going on for so many years now. It’s time people sat up and saw the need we have here in South Tyneside before we have a pandemic on our hands.
“Ideally, I’d like to see 8,000 signatures on the petition. That’s one for every diabetic in South Tyneside, but realistically I’d settle for as many as possible.”
The online petition reads: “We as a local support group from South Tyneside have been campaigning since 2006, because a diabetes pandemic has been predicted by professionals and we need to be prepared for this.
“As it stands, diabetes sufferers have to attend regular check ups such as eye and foot screening, blood tests, podiatry sessions and annual reviews at GP surgeries or in hospital.
“At the moment these appointments are held at various locations, and, ideally, it would be much better to be done under one roof especially for the elderly or children who need public transport to attend each of these very important services.”
Mrs Allom added: “Over the next few weeks I will be targeting community centres and the streets. It only takes a few minutes to sign up and it could help to save lives in the future.”
To sign the petition, visit https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/a-much-needed-daibetes-centre