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Government report glosses over diabetes care failings

A government report released today 'Five Years On - Delivering the Diabetes National Service Framework' has analysed progress of the government's 10-year diabetes plan, published in 2003.

"The NHS has responded impressively to the first five years of the national service framework [the government diabetes plan]. More and more people with diabetes are getting good routine care," said National Clinical Director for Diabetes, Dr Rowan Hillson MBE.

Clear improvements

Secretary of State for Health, Alan Johnson, said "There are clear improvements in diabetes care... more and more people are getting the tests and measurements that they need, and their outcomes are getting better too."

Whilst agreeing that progress has been made, Diabetes UK chief executive, Douglas Smallwood, said: "The rate of progress in diabetes care needs to be much greater in the next five years than we've achieved in the previous five years.

Too rosy a picture

"Recent figures reveal one in ten deaths in England can be attributable to diabetes with the figure nearly doubling in deprived areas. The condition causes 100 amputations a week and there were 3,000 accident and emergency admissions of children with diabetes complications in 2007, an 8 per cent rise on the previous year.

"In view of such outcomes and the fact that the number of people with diabetes is set to double to 4 million by 2020, this report paints too rosy a picture of the current standard of diabetes care. 

"We have a huge mountain to climb to ensure that all people with, and those at risk of, diabetes have access to the information, education, support and high-quality care to enable them to manage their condition on a day-to-day basis, with the help of specialist diabetes teams."


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