Plans to establish a type 2 diabetes research centre at The University of Oxford, using funding and support from a leading pharmaceutical company, have been welcomed by Thompsons Solicitors. 

Danish company Novo Nordisk, which produces a range of insulin and diabetes treatments, has invested £115 million in the 10-year partnership, which will see academic and industry researchers work together on ways to treat the disease’s early stages. 

Around 100 Novo Nordisk scientists will investigate new ways to treat type 2 diabetes at the centre, integrating with around 2,500 people on the university’s biomedical campus. 

“Diabetes is one of the UK’s greatest health challenges, and any effort that will enhance early diagnosis and treatment of diabetes is to be welcomed,” said Corrina Mottram, serious injury and clinical negligence solicitor at Thompsons. 

“However, prevention is better than cure. It is the government’s responsibility to ensure the public is better educated about the risks associated with type 2 diabetes and its causes, so people can better protect themselves from developing the condition in the first place.” 

There are an estimated 4.5 million people living with diabetes in the UK, according to charity Diabetes UK. Around 700 people a day are diagnosed with the condition; 90 per cent of those have type 2 diabetes. 

Obesity is the biggest risk factor for developing the disease and currently underlies the global spread of the condition. Diabetes UK reports 20 diabetes-related amputations are carried out in England every day, with the annual total of diabetes-related amputation reaching 7,370. The charity also points out that proper diabetes management has been shown to reduce the risk of complications and argues that four out of five of all amputations could be prevented if treatment was provided sooner.

“When warning signs of diabetes are missed, the consequences can be heart breaking,” added Ms Mottram. “Yet again this is about adequate funding of the NHS, so that medical staff are fully trained and able to identify the disease as soon as possible.”