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Diabetes services in Scotland urged to do more

As the number of people with diabetes in Scotland grows to 228,000, Diabetes UK Scotland is today urging NHS Scotland to meet the challenge to improve diabetes services and improve the health of people with diabetes.

The "Better Diabetes Care Survey Report 2009" details findings of a survey completed by 1,000 people with diabetes, and shows that while there is praise for recent improvements in care, considerable concerns remain that there are significant gaps in services.

Findings

The survey suggests that:

  • One in eight people with Type 1 diabetes and one in three with Type 2 diabetes had never seen a dietitian.
  • Seven out of ten people had never been offered any diabetes education.
  • No-one from minority ethnic communities knew whether they were Type 1 or Type 2.
  • Only 26% of people knew what their foot risk score was.
  • Almost six out of ten people said that they would like to have a say in local diabetes services.

The survey also highlights the importance of emotional and psychological support and that this is an area that needs considerable development.

For example, it was found that 42% of people were not given time to talk when they were diagnosed or when a complication of diabetes developed. However, 72% said that this was something that they would have liked.

Access to support

"People diagnosed with a life long and complex condition like diabetes can undergo a wide range of emotions and it is important that they can access the right support at the right time," said Jane-Claire Judson, National Director of Diabetes UK Scotland.

"This might be something relatively straightforward such as meeting other people with diabetes at a local voluntary group; it might also require access to a clinical psychologist to deal with complex and difficult issues."

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