We are calling on government for a recovery plan to tackle 'devastating’ diabetes care delays – before it’s too late
Diabetes is serious and people living with diabetes have been ‘pushed to the back of the queue’ during the coronavirus pandemic. A national recovery plan is needed to support front-line healthcare teams in getting vital services back on track.
We have warned that despite the tireless efforts of the NHS through the pandemic, many people living with diabetes are still struggling to access the care they need, putting them at risk of serious complications, which can lead to premature death.
A new report, published on 20 April 2022 by us as part of our Diabetes Is Serious campaign, shows the scale of the problem and sets out a series of calls to UK Government to tackle it.
Our report is informed by a survey of more than 10,000 people living with and affected by diabetes. It showed that:
- Almost half (47%) had experienced difficulties managing their condition in 2021.
- Almost two thirds (63%) attributed this in part to not having sufficient access to their healthcare team. This rose to 71% in the most deprived areas of the country.
- One in six reported no contact with their healthcare team whatsoever about their diabetes since before the pandemic.
These findings are backed up by NHS figures that report that just 36% of people with diabetes in England received all their recommended care checks in 2020-21, compared with 57% in 2019-2020.
The survey also revealed stark health inequalities. It showed that people from the most deprived areas of the country were more likely to have experienced difficulties managing their diabetes, with 56% of people in the most deprived areas saying they had experienced problems compared to 44% in the least deprived.
What are we calling for?
- A recovery plan from UK Government specifically addressing the challenges facing diabetes services, including staffing constraints, so that people with the condition can access the vital support they need.
- A renewed commitment to improving outcomes for people with, and at risk of, diabetes in the forthcoming refresh of the NHS Long Term Plan – and the further investment needed to make this happen.
- A cross-government strategy to tackle health inequalities in the upcoming White Paper on Health Disparities.
- Integrated Care Systems to urgently draw up plans to catch up on the backlog of diabetes care, with the aim of ensuring everyone with diabetes has had a review of the key care processes and their care plan by the end of 2022.
Our Diabetes is Serious reports
Our Diabetes is Serious 2022 report: Recovering diabetes care: preventing the mounting crisis is now live. and you can read about what we are doing across the UK and how you can get involved from our nations pages as well as reading the reports for each area.
How can I get support?
Access our information and support on all the issues raised in this campaign.