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PCTs must improve self-care for people with diabetes

A review of diabetes services has found that 73 per cent of Primary Care Trusts (PCT) were meeting basic diabetes health requirements and were rated as ‘fair’.

The review, launched today by the Healthcare Commission, also found that 5 per cent of PCTs were rated as ‘excellent’, 11 per cent were ‘good’, and 12 per cent were ‘weak’.

Being rated as ‘fair’ means people with diabetes are being given yearly check-ups and tests such as for blood glucose and blood pressure levels.

However, the Commission also found that PCTs rated ‘fair’ and ‘weak’ were not commissioning services that offered enough support to people with diabetes to manage their condition.

Bridget Turner, Head of Healthcare Policy at Diabetes UK, said:

“These results show that the NHS is still failing to provide the high quality care that people with diabetes need to achieve good diabetes management and stay healthy.

“The NHS has to focus more on supporting people to manage their diabetes through self-care. For people with diabetes, 95 per cent of diabetes management is self-care. It simply isn’t good enough that 85 per cent of PCTs in England were rated as ‘fair’ or ‘weak’, when a ‘fair’ rating means that PCTs are not providing services that offer enough support to people to manage their diabetes.

“Empowering people to achieve good diabetes control is essential to help them reduce their risk of developing devastating complications such as heart attacks, blindness, kidney failure and amputations.

“PCTs need to focus now on commissioning high quality services to support self-care and deliver on improved health outcomes.”

According to the review, some key improvements all commissioners and providers of diabetes services need to make include:

  • Improve care planning between people with diabetes and their healthcare professional
  • Increase the number of people attending education courses and improving their knowledge
  • Increase the number of people with diabetes having blood glucose levels of 7.4 or less
  • All organisations providing and commissioning diabetes services need to work more closely together to reduce emergency admission rates
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