With the General Election campaign underway, we want to let our political leaders know that diabetes is a problem we simply can’t afford to ignore.

A staggering 3.8 million people are living with diabetes and the increasing number of people being diagnosed with the condition is posing a real threat to the sustainability of our health service both locally and nationally.

Poor care is fuelling soaring rates of life-threatening diabetes-related complications such as blindness, amputations and strokes.

These complications are not only personally devastating for those involved, but are also extremely costly to the health service.

Diabetes accounts for 10 per cent of the entire NHS budget, costing £10billion a year and 80 per cent of this is spent on managing potentially avoidable complications.

This is why we are appealing to people to add their voice to our campaign calling on politicians to put diabetes on the political agenda, both in run-up to the election and throughout the next Parliament.

We are asking people to help raise awareness of the seriousness of diabetes with any of their local candidates they come into contact with.

By putting diabetes on the national agenda, we can ensure that lives are saved and costs to the NHS greatly reduced.

To find out how you can get involved and to download our General Election 2015 campaign pack, go to: http://bit.ly/1BvE9or

Sharon Roberts

Diabetes UK Eastern regional manager