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New figures show huge variation in diabetes care in England and Wales

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People with diabetes in England and Wales are experiencing huge variations in care depending on where they live, new figures from the NHS show. The new National Diabetes Audit also reveals more people with diabetes are going on structured education courses.

GP surgeries record the level of care people with diabetes receive based on NICE-recommended care and treatment targets for glucose control, blood pressure and cholesterol.

Reaching these treatment targets help people reduce their risk of developing serious and life-threating complications such as amputation, blindness, heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.

Yet meeting these life-saving targets varied for people living with diabetes.

In some areas, only 11 per cent of people with Type 1 diabetes are reaching treatment targets rising to 34 per cent in others.

More people with Type 2 diabetes are meeting treatment targets, though variations do occur across the countries and from GP to GP.

Older people are more likely than younger people to reach all three treatment targets.

There has been a huge increase in people with diabetes asked to go on an education course in the first year of being diagnosed. The latest figures show 82 per cent of people with Type 2 diabetes and 39 per cent for those with Type 1 diabetes are asked to attend a structured course.

Diabetes UK’s Chief Executive Chris Askew said:Diabetes UK’s Chief Executive Chris Askew said:“It is shocking to see this level of variation for people with diabetes achieving their NICE recommended treatment targets, and not just at CCG level but also from one GP surgery to another.

“At the moment people with Type 1 diabetes and younger people are clearly struggling the most when it comes to meeting these targets and we particularly want to see more done to support them. 

“Ensuring they attend structured education, are offered psychological support and proper care planning, all of which will give them the best tools to help them control their condition.”

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