A new survey from Diabetes UK has revealed that 42 per cent 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, 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.
This is concerning because just 16 per cent of people with diabetes in England and Wales are offered a diabetes education course when they are diagnosed with diabetes, despite the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommending it is offered to everyone with diabetes and strong evidence that giving people the skills to manage their diabetes effectively can significantly improve their quality of life.
There is also potential to save huge costs by ensuring that all people with diabetes get the education they need to prevent avoidable complications from developing. Diabetes currently accounts for 10 per cent of the entire NHS budget, with 80 per cent of this spend totaling £8 billion going on managing complications such as blindness, amputation and stroke.
Given that 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.
Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “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. 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.
“Many people who are living with diabetes or have just been diagnosed, find the condition overwhelming and are very concerned by the possibility of life-altering complications. But we know that by giving people with diabetes access to support and education services, we can greatly increase their confidence in managing their condition and improve their health and outcomes.
“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.”
Diabetes Week runs from 14 – 20 June. Join the conversation on Twitter by sharing your hints, tips and stories of living life to the full with diabetes, using the hashtag #DiabetesAndMe.
Type 2 Diabetes and Me is an interactive online e-learning programme to help people with Type 2 diabetes understand and manage their diabetes successfully. Find out more atwww.diabetes.org.uk/diabetesweek.