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Young adults with diabetes less likely to receive routine care

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Diabetes UK has today responded to a newreport, which has found that young adults with diabetes are less likely to get their annual health checks and are less likely to have their condition under control.The findings are from the National Diabetes Audit 2012-2013, which looks at the quality of care of more than two million people in England and Wales with diabetes. It has found that of patients under the age of 40, only 29.1 per cent with Type 1 diabetes and 46.3 per cent with Type 2 diabetesreceived eight of the nine recommended checks- which include assessments for blood pressure, blood glucose, eye screening and foot checks.Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “It is deeply worrying that young adults with diabetes are less likely to get their annual health checks and also less likely to have their condition under control. While it is right that the NHS has focused on older people with multiple conditions over the last few years, we fear that care for younger people and those of working age with diabetes is being left behind.“The tragic consequence of this are already plain to see, with young women with diabetes nine times more likely to die in any given year than other women their age. As well as fuelling the high mortality rate, with more people being diagnosed at a relatively young age we can increasingly expect to see complications such as amputation and kidney failure happening earlier. This would put huge strain on NHS resources. The NHS already spends 10 per cent of its entire budget on diabetes and this will rise even further if we do not get better at supporting people with diabetes to stay healthy.“This report should also act as a wake-up call about the state of diabetes healthcare for Type 1 diabetes in particular. The fact that people with Type 1 are so much less likely to get their checks and have worse diabetes outcomes than people with Type 2 is unacceptable and there is an urgent need for the NHS to prioritise action to change this situation.“While people who are younger are the least likely to get the checks they need, there are problems across the board. The overall proportion of people getting their essential checks has gone down and there are no signs of improvement in access to education or diabetes outcomes. We need to see clinical commission groups and care providers such as GPs and hospitals improve the way they care for people with diabetes. It is also time for the Government and the NHS to take tougher action to demand that those providing poor care come up to at least the national average to improve the lives of people living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.”

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