Last year we asked our supporters to take part in our diabetes care survey, to find out if people are getting their 15 healthcare essentials and thousands responded. The results will continue to inform our campaigns to deliver better care for people with diabetes. These are some of the key findings from the survey.
Getting your annual checks
The survey found that people with Type 1 diabetes were significantly less likely to get their checks than people with Type 2, which reflects the results from the National Diabetes Audit published earlier this year. These are the checks that NICE say everyone with diabetes should be receiving in order to monitor and help to improve their health.
In particular, only 69% of people with Type 1 say they are getting their legs and feet checked, compared to 80% of people with Type 2. This may be because people with Type 2 are more likely to have their feet checked by their GP, who, through QoF (Quality Outcomes Framework) will be being paid to deliver this service. We would urge people with Type 1 diabetes to ask for their annual foot check. VisitPutting Feet Firstfor more information about our foot campaign.
Looking at foot checks in more detail, people with Type 1 also told us they were getting poorer quality foot checks. Fewer had their socks and tights removed or had their feet tested for numbness. Worryingly, only 56% were given advice about how to care for their feet and only 50% were told their level of risk. This compares with 63% of people with Type 2 being given advice on how to care for their feet and 55% being told their level of risk for foot problems.
As well as the NICE checks Diabetes UK says there are services that everybody with diabetes should receive in order to give them the best possible tools to self-manage their condition and avoid developing the serious complications associated with poorly controlled diabetes.
People with Type 1 diabetes are much more likely to have been offered a course than people with Type 2. Two thirds of people with Type 1 (65%) have been offered a course compared to just over half of people with Type 2 diabetes (53%). People with Type 1 were also more likely to take up a place, 73% who were offered a course went on one, compared to 69% of people with Type 2. Find out more about the importance of education by visiting ourTaking Control campaign.
Access to emotional support is still clearly an important issue for both people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Less than a third of people with Type 1 who had needed support said they were offered it (32%), while only a quarter of people with Type 2 had been (20%).
Bridget Turner, Director of Policy and Care Improvement, said: “This survey lays bare just how vital it is for us to keep on campaigning for better care for people with diabetes.
“With 3.5 million people diagnosed with the condition in the UK, achieving good care for people with diabetes is a clear and pressing issue. No-one should be missing out on their annual checks and the services should be in place to support people with diabetes. Our 15 Healthcare Essentials provides information about what to expect to help people with diabetes work with their diabetes teams to manage their condition well. It is the basic level of care that everyone should be receiving to give them the best chance of a long and healthy life.
'Ask for your checks'
“We would urge people with diabetes to ask for the checks they should be getting every year. If you are not getting your annual checks or the services you are entitled to then discuss your concerns with your GP, practice nurse or specialist.”
Other checks and services included in the survey include care planning, seeing a specialist in hospital and smoking cessation. Clickhereto see the full survey results.