Diabetes Report Paints Sobering UK Picture

Newly published analysis produced by Diabetes UK gives insight into the impact of diabetes on the nation.

According to the leading UK charity, people with diabetes suffer 200,000 devastating complications every year. These include amputations, heart attacks and strokes.

The report has been based on data that forms part of the National Diabetes Audit. Yet despite the sobering nature of the figures involved, the nadir of this phenomenon has yet to be reached, at least based on current projections.

By 2025, it is predicted that the number of people living with diabetes in Britain will soar to 5 million.

These figures illustrate the importance of addressing the disease within the NHS in terms of providing adequate care.

Diabetes is naturally a debilitating condition for sufferers, but it is also one of the largest economic burdens on the NHS. Staggeringly, diabetes alone accounts for 10 per cent of the entire NHS budget, with the health service spending £8 billion annually on tackling the condition.

Much of this expenditure could be prevented, according to Diabetes UK, if appropriate care is provided.

Speaking on these worrying figures, Barbara Young, Diabetes UK Chief Executive, had the following to say: “It is an absolute tragedy that there are almost 200,000 cases a year of debilitating and life threatening diabetes complications such as heart attacks, amputations, and stroke that could be prevented with better care and support.”

Young also made reference to the disparity in care offered to diabetes sufferers depending on the region of the country in which they reside. Research indicates that there can be a gulf of nearly 40 per cent between the areas of the UK with the best and worst treatment of the condition.

“With the numbers of people with diabetes rising at an alarming rate, it is vital that the Government and the NHS act urgently to end the postcode lottery of diabetes care and ensure that all people living with diabetes get the support and care they need to live long healthy lives,” Young opined.

Young also made clear that it was important to communicate to the general public the value of adopting preventative lifestyle-based measures. “The NHS must get better at giving people with diabetes the education they need to take control of their condition,” she asserted.

A study by the World Health Organisation has previously suggested that diabetes in Britain could rise by 25% by the end of the decade, while the National Heart Forum claims that type 2 diabetes could increase in the UK by as much as 98% in the same timeframe.

 
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New survey reveals 42% of Type 2 diabetics are “not confident managing their condition”

 A new survey from Diabetes UK has revealed that 42 percent of people with Type 2 diabetes do not feel confident in managing their condition.

The survey of 2,722 people who attended a Diabetes UK’s Living with Diabetes Days, which is being published during Diabetes Week (14-20 June), suggests that many hundreds of thousands of people with Type 2 diabetes do not have the knowledge and information they need to manage their condition and so reduce their risk of devastating health complications.

“It is extremely worrying that so many people with diabetes don’t feel confident at managing their diabetes, as this means huge numbers of people do not have information that could be lifesaving”, said Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK. “This makes no sense because the health complications of diabetes are not only devastating but are also extremely costly to treat.

 “This Diabetes Week, we are urging the Government and the NHS to do more to ensure people with diabetes get the support and education they need to manage the condition not just at the point of diagnosis but beyond as the educational needs of people already living with the condition can change over time.

“While the NHS and Government has an important role to play, people with diabetes can also take action themselves by going to their GP and ask to be given access to an education course. In the meantime, there are also lots of things people can do, from doing an online course to attending one of our Living with Diabetes Days, to get information they need to help develop their confidence.”

With the number of people living with diabetes in the UK has now reached an all-time high of 3.9 million, Diabetes UK is calling for the Government and the NHS to do more to ensure people get the support and education they need to be able to manage the condition both at the point of diagnosis and beyond.

 
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Leading charities unite to call on NHS to improve care for people with LTCs

The NHS is spending £75bn a year treating people with long term conditions (LTCs) but too many people are still not receiving the care they need warns a new report by The Richmond Group, a coalition of 10 leading health and social care charities.

The report, ‘Vital Signs: Taking the temperature of health and social care for services for people living with long term conditions’, states that the standard of care for the 15 million people in England who live with at least one LTC is inconsistent and that not enough people are getting the care and support they need to live well.

“Too often, we are failing to provide the right level of care and support needed by people with long term conditions and as a direct result of inadequate care their health is being put at greater risk with devastating consequences”, said Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK.

“For example, we are seeing people with diabetes lose limbs when an amputation could have been prevented, and people with asthma are dying unnecessarily. And it’s not just a case of immense, unnecessary human cost; with the NHS spending £7 in every £10 on managing long term conditions and their complications, sub-standard care is also putting huge strain on the NHS budget.”

Tom Wright, chief executive of Age UK and Chair of The Richmond Group, said: “We have known for some time what needs to happen to support people with long term conditions to survive and thrive, so the challenge is putting that knowledge into practice for everyone, right across the NHS and within social care. With long-term conditions affecting a massive one in six of us today, now is the time for action.”

 
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