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State of the Nation 2016: Time to take control of diabetes

Diabetes is the fastest-growing health threat facing our nation. Over three million people are living with diabetes in England. If their condition is well managed they can live long, fulfilling lives. However, too often people with diabetes are not receiving the support they need to help them manage their condition and reduce their risk of devastating and costly complications, and there are significant variations in care for people with diabetes.

Our State of the Nation report (July 2016) brings together evidence from recent national diabetes audit reports covering care processes and treatment targets, inpatient care, pregnancy and foot care.  

The report sets out actions to improve the delivery of the 15 healthcare essentials for adults with diabetes, and to improve care for children and young people. It makes calls to NHS England, local commissioners, GPs and other NHS providers to improve care and support for people with diabetes and on the prevention of Type 2 diabetes. 

Recommended actions to improve diabetes care

  • Healthcare professionals should work with people who have diabetes through the care planning process to develop and achieve their individual goals, agreeing targets for blood glucose, blood pressure and blood fats. These should be reviewed at least once a year for everyone with diabetes as this is crucial for optimum diabetes management.
  • People with diabetes should be supported to eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight.
  • People with diabetes who smoke should be given help to quit. 
  • Insulin pump therapy should be offered to all those who could benefit and who meet NICE guidance
  • CCGs should have an improvement plan to tackle local variation in treatment outcomes for all people with diabetes and ensure that particular attention is given to addressing treatment target outcomes for people with Type 1 diabetes as they are at greater risk of short and long-term diabetes-related complications.
  • CCGs should put plans in place to ensure that all people with diabetes have the skills and confidence to manage their condition by 2020.
  • CCGs should ensure that at least half of people newly diagnosed with diabetes attend a structured education course.
  • NHS England should work with local areas to ensure that at least half of all people with diabetes receive structured education over the next five years.