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Language Matters: The Voices

Why Language Matters is important according to people living with Diabetes and Health Care Professionals

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Consultant Diabetes  

"I have seen many people whose links with healthcare were dashed by inappropriate language that shattered confidence and trust that is essential for a therapeutic relationship. We hope that this initiative can play a role in preventing that happening to others. 


I am so pleased to see to see this initiate to help education and inform people around appropriate language with regard to diabetes: we hope this will help reduce the stigma people feel and enhance interactions between HCP’s and people living with diabetes." 

Prof. Pratik Choudhary


Person with Type 1 Diabetes

"For me, manner and tone lies at the heart of “language matters”. If an HCP clearly cares about, engages with, and empathises with me, they can say what they want in terms of words"

Adrian Long

Deeksha Dev

Person with Type 1 Diabetes

"Type 1 Diabetes is still stigmatized in Indian society and if someone gets diagnosed with the same, it becomes that person's whole identity. Externalization of the chronic condition like Type 1 diabetes is extremely important because it reminds the society and the person living with the condition that 'the person is not the problem, the problem is the problem'. That's exactly where Language Matters comes into play; I live with diabetes- it's a part of my identity but my diabetes is not my whole identity. That's what we need to remind others- how your usage of language can affect me and other people's view of my condition."


Consultant Diabetes

"Language Matters is an important piece of work that is evolving into a truly global movement. It highlights the importance of our choice of words when speaking to (and about) those with diabetes - and the profound impact they can have. It is our duty to ensure that not only do we implement the key ideals of language matters, but highlight this to others to ensure all those involved in diabetes care are aware of the importance of the words they use."

Dr. Amar Puttanna

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Person with Type 1 Diabetes

"We want to be heard, but we also want to be understood. We want to listen, but we also want to learn. Language Matters."

Pragya Bakshi

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Professor May Ng

Consultant Paediatrician and Paediatric Endocrinologist

"As healthcare professionals we should  consider what lies behind the language that we use and how it affects others. By a determined effort to mind our language, choosing each and every word with care, empathy and sensitivity, we can build powerful and sustainable collaborative relationships with our patients”

Karen Addington

Chief Executive, JDRF, UK

"Effective communication should be at the heart of every health care professional’s relationship with the people they treat. Through language we connect with people, not just by what we say but how we say it. The words used for someone newly diagnosed, or anywhere throughout their type 1 journey, can have a lifelong impact. The language matters guide is a fantastic tool to provide health care professionals with guidance on language that is respectful and warm to the type 1 community."

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Dr. Banshi Saboo

Consultant Diabetes 

"Communication is the key skill to portray our abilities to make a difference in the lives of the people with Diabetes and “Language matters” is portraying the use of effective mannerisms to convey just the best ways to bring a change."

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CEO, Diabetes UK

"We hear every day of the positive and negative experiences which arise from how and what language is used. The language used when in discussion about diabetes care and self-management has the power either to alienate, disempower and detach – or to support, engage and encourage. That’s why the Language Matters resources are so vital in setting the standard, across the world, in how language is best used to support people to self-manage and to deliver great care. Language does really matter and better conversations lead to better care, better outcomes, better emotional health - so this website and these resources could not be more welcomed."

Chris Askew 


Senior Research Officer Diabetes

"By using language to educate and empower we can talk about complications without stigma and blame, fear is not a motivator and complications of diabetes are not the fault of people trying to live their lives with diabetes."

Dr. Rebecca Thomas


Diabetes Specialist Nurse

"The language we chose as health professionals can have both a positive and negative influence on how people with diabetes see their condition.
Our use of appropriate language should be at the fore front of all our conversations and documentation"

Tamsin Fletcher


Bethany Kelly

Diabetes Specialist Nurse 

"Communication is at the very heart of what we do as nurses. I believe it especially matters to me, as a diabetes specialist nurse. The words we use and how we make patients feel about their diabetes, is absolutely paramount in nurturing a collaborative relationship between a person living with diabetes and their DSN. It takes very little effort for nurses to think about our use of language and words, however it makes giant wavelengths in creating those working relationships, to person living with diabetes. I am a huge advocate for these documents."

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Dr. Reza Zaidi

Consultant Diabetes

“Healthcare professionals posses a wide array of tools to help and support people living with diabetes - none more powerful than the words used in consultations. These constitute a language which can impact relationships, engagement and continuity of care.

‘Language Matters’ is an important guide for embedding empathy, kindness and avoidance of stigma in our communication with people living with diabetes to further strengthen collaborative relationships.”

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Dr. Rose Stewart

Principal Clinical Psychologist

"“Language is how we build our reality…the good, the bad and everything in-between. By thinking about the language we use, we have the ability to turn every contact into an opportunity to build people up.”  

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Person with Type 1 Diabetes

""For me 'language matters' shouldn't be considered as finger pointing any blame, but ushering a productive future approach towards diabetes care. First, we have to all look at ourselves, I've made mistakes and said things out of context as a type 1 patient and therefore can improve, and this transitions to each of us from front line health professionals, people with any type of diabetes, family and friends to most definitely the media portrayal. How we consider our words is how we shape the psychological hurdles, stigma and general understanding of the condition."

Gavin Griffiths 


Ros Gray

Person with Type 1 Diabetes / Diabetes Trainer

"The words and language that we use are so important. Words have the ability to build someone up or knock someone down. Life with diabetes can be really challenging and so encouraging and supportive words from Health Care Professionals are key. It's important to recognise the effort that the person is putting into their care and to share in the successes that they've achieved."


Vicki Alabraba

Diabetes Specialist Nurse

"As a nurse the way we engage with our patients is so important and I believe in working in partnership with my patients by building trust and rapport. 

The language that I use towards those living with diabetes is at the forefront of my practice and it’s particularly important to teach those new to diabetes nursing about how language can affect our patients. 

I am so happy to see that the Language matters initiative has become a global collaboration and to have all of the resources in one place is fabulous. "

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Dr. Tejal Lathia

Consultant Diabetes 

"Language is what binds us together and is the medium of touching the lives and hearts of the people we treat"


Lis Warren

Person with Type 1 Diabetes

"Caring for diabetes is a partnership between clinicians and the person living with it. If handled inappropriately, using judgemental language causing guilt, shame or a lack of confidence, self care is affected and can cause lifelong difficulties if this occurs at diagnosis. The language and the manner in which it’s used is vitally important to the clinical outcomes and quality of life of every person living with diabetes. I hope this web site becomes a staple resource in the training of all healthcare professionals!"   


Amanda Epps

Diabetes Specialist Nurse and Founder of the DSN forum UK

"As a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes and a healthcare professional, I strongly believe that the language we use when discussing diabetes can have a major impact on the relationship between HCPs and the people with diabetes and their families. When I think about my son, I think about how brave and strong and smart he is.  Diabetes is something he has to deal with, it is part of him and there’s no getting away from that. However diabetes definitely does not define him in anyway shape or form and so the language we use should reflect this. "

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Dr. Archana Sarda

Consultant Diabetes

"In my journey of 20 years with thousands of  families whose lives are touched with diabetes, I have realised just how much language matters.
What is said is fully overshadowed by how it is said. Judicious & positive use of language goes a long way in getting rid of negative stereotypes . The right language is imbibed overtime by the community , bringing actual changes in perception."