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800,000 people with diabetes risk serious health problems

Diabetes UK warns that 797,067 people with diabetes in the UK are not achieving their recommended blood glucose levels. Data from GP practices of 2,366,363 people with diabetes over the age of 17 showed that 34 per cent are at risk of serious health problems such as blindness, heart disease, amputation and kidney failure.

For people with diabetes, achieving individually agreed blood glucose levels (HbA1c) within the range of 6.5 to 7.5 per cent is the foundation of good diabetes management and reduces the risk of serious long-term complications. People with diabetes spend only a few hours a year with healthcare professionals and so it is essential for people with diabetes to have access to high-quality care, structured patient education and better psychological support to help them achieve good blood glucose levels.

Appalling situation 

“It is absolutely appalling that 1 in 3 people with diabetes are struggling to achieve their blood glucose targets," said Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK.

"Diabetes complications are estimated to cost the NHS around £1 million an hour and can have a devastating effect on people’s quality of life. It is vital that all of the 2.6 million people with diabetes are armed with the knowledge and confidence to manage their diabetes effectively.

Diabetes UK calls for better support

“Diabetes UK is calling for better support for people with diabetes on World Diabetes Day to manage their diabetes. People with diabetes make decisions about their diabetes management every day and want to maintain an independent, healthy and active life. If they need support to achieve this, it should be widely available.

"They need the services and support to help them make informed decisions and achieve their own self-management goals that will in the long term prevent the development of complications.

Delievery of care plan is patchy

“The government states that all people with long-term conditions will have a care plan by the end of 2010. Progress on delivering this is very patchy for people with diabetes. Diabetes UK believes the process of care planning can provide much of the care and support that is needed and that care planning should be about the person with diabetes and their healthcare team working in partnership to discuss and agree concerns, actions and goals.

"Unless the poor progress to date is addressed, the government's target will not be delivered.”

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