The latestNational Diabetes Audithas revealed that 60 per cent of people with diabetes in England do not receive all of their vital annual health checks including blood glucose, blood pressure and eye tests.
The annual audit also showed that people with diabetes are more likely to have complications such as heart disease or stroke depending on which part of the country they live in, or if they come from a more socially deprived background. People with Type 1 diabetes or Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY) are reportedly less likely than those with Type 2 diabetes to receive any of the health checks.
However, the number of people with diabetes who did receive all the vital health checks was higher than five years ago, when only 6.5 per cent received them compared to 40 per cent in 2007/8.
The audit was carried out by the NHS Information Centre and included information on 1.42 million people with diabetes in England.
Better care needed
Simon O’Neill, Director of Care, Information and Advocacy Services at Diabetes UK, said: “It is absolutely appalling that 60 per cent of people with diabetes in England do not receive all of their vital annual health checks according to the National Diabetes Audit for 2007/8.
“It is essential that people with diabetes receive all components of their recommended diabetes care and feel confident about working with their healthcare professional team to plan and implement their treatment. There are more than two million people with diabetes in England and they are all entitled to a comprehensive diabetes care service regardless of which primary care trust they come under.
“Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing the country today. If untreated, it can lead to devastating complications such as blindness, amputation, stroke and heart disease. A lack of adequate diabetes services puts them at even greater risk of developing these complications which are estimated to cost the NHS £1million an hour.”