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Diabetes review reveals few improvements

The biggest audit of diabetes care in Europe has been published today.  It shows that one in five people expected to have diabetes still remain undiagnosed. 

The report comes a week after Diabetes UK launch, a campaign to get people to think about their health. The campaign urges people to take a quick waist measurement to check if they’re at risk of Type 2 diabetes.

The audit is published by the Information Centre for health and social care on behalf of the Healthcare Commission.  It also shows that over 1.5 million people in the UK could be missing out on their annual reviews. 

“We are seeing improvements but for the people that are missing out, it’s not fast enough said, Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK.

"Annual reviews are vital to pick up any health changes and signs of complications.  This could mean that the right adjustments aren't being made to medication and the first signs of serious health problems aren't being picked up. 

"The audit highlights areas of care which aren’t up to scratch, but it’s down to local Primary Care Trusts and the government to act on this.”

Other key findings include:

 88 per cent of adults and 84 per cent of children aren’t achieving recommended blood glucose levels, putting them at risk of serious complications like heart and kidney disease, blindness, strokes and amputations.

 39 per cent of people with diabetes aren’t receiving regular eye screening for retinopathy, leaving them at risk of blindness.  This figure is also an average and we know that many PCTS are well below this and no where near to achieving the government target of 70 per cent of people receiving screening.

 More women remain undiagnosed than men, particularly in the over 40 age group.

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