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New figures highlight postcode lottery of diabetes care

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Diabetes UK has today responded to new figures released by Public Health England that highlight the postcode lottery of diabetes healthcare.

The figures show that treatment targets for blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol are only being met for a third of people with diabetes.

Across the country nowhere is meeting all three targets well – the average is 36 per cent and the best is 48 per cent.

The figures have been taken from, Healthier Lives, a new online tool from Public Health England, which contains data on the prevalence and treatment of diabetes.

Diabetes UK is urging health leaders to use the tool alongside Diabetes UK’sDiabetes Watchtool, which includes Scotland and Wales data, to help drive up standards so that all people with the condition get the care they need no matter where they live.

Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “It is deeply worrying that there is a postcode lottery in diabetes healthcare and also huge variation in the proportion of people who have their diabetes under control. This has serious implications because unless someone has their condition under control they are at higher risk of health complications such as amputation, blindness, kidney failure and, ultimately, early death.

would like to think these new figures would act as a spur for the NHS and the Government to set out urgently how they intend to improve diabetes healthcare. But this is just the latest in a long line of statistics that show that diabetes healthcare is hugely geographically variable and in many places is not good enough. The public deserve more than politicians and NHS leaders wringing their hands about it but then failing to do anything meaningful to try to fix it.

“It is not even clear in the reformed NHS whose job it is to hold poorly performing areas to account. The end result is that while some areas provide good quality care, too many people have substandard care that is putting their future health at risk. We are supposed to have a national health service and it’s time the Government put the ‘N’ back in ‘NHS’ by insisting that everyone with diabetes gets the care they need, wherever they happen to live.”

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