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PCTs fail on diabetes awareness and early identification of Type 2 diabetes

Diabetes UK warns that NHS primary care trusts (PCTs) in England are failing to raise awareness of diabetes and its serious complications among the general public.

According to our report, more than half (53 per cent) of PCTs do not have strategies in place to raise awareness of the condition.

Early identification

The report, 'Access to health services', also shows that one in three (36 per cent) of PCTs does not have a programme in place for the early identification of Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes UK estimates that 400,000 people in England have the condition but are not aware of it.

Awareness

Diabetes UK also found that of the PCTs that do have strategies in place to raise awareness of diabetes in the general population, nearly half of PCTs (44 per cent) do not differentiate between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and this will result in misleading and confusing messages.

You can view a list of PCTs that don't have relevant programmes in place or access the full report.

PCTs have important role to play

"Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing the UK today," said Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK.

"In the National Service Framework for Diabetes the Government set diabetes care standards and highlighted the importance of both early identification and prevention.

"PCTs have an important role to play in raising awareness of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and informing people of how simple lifestyles changes, such as eating a healthy diet and being physically active, can help reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and can help the ongoing management of those already living with diabetes, is an important part of care.

"Early identification is also crucial, as people with Type 2 diabetes can remain undiagnosed for up to ten years, which puts them at increased risk of developing the devastating complications of diabetes such as stroke, heart disease, blindness and amputation."

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