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NHS Highland

Updated 16 June 2011

Who has diabetes?


Prevalence (Scottish average 3.5)










Why are these figures important? 

Highland profile

NHS Highland provide healthcare to approximately 300,000 members of the public.  Almost 14,000 people are recorded as having diabetes. The area has an older than average age profile, and levels of deprivation are low. Using statistics from the Scottish Public Health Network we estimate that a further 5,929 people have this condition but have yet to be diagnosed.  Due to the remoteness and distances involved, diabetes care across the area is delivered through innovative technologies such as telehealth.  

The Better Diabetes Care survey, conducted by Diabetes UK Scotland in 2009, has suggested that access to annual reviews, which cover areas such as eyes, feet, blood glucose levels, blood pressure weight and a discussion of how patients are feeling are well delivered.

Access to foot care within the Highlands has been found to be slightly better than in the rest of Scotland. On the national level, 54.0% of those with diabetes do not receive professional input from this service and one in ten people  use private care as an alternative to NHS care.

Satisfaction in regards to care received as hospital in-patients and diabetes education has been found to be low when compared to the rest of Scotland.

In 2007, Diabetes UK Scotland and NHS Quality Improvement Scotland pulled together feedback from focus groups and surveys to report on what was the experience of care of people living with diabetes.  The review of the care experience of people living with diabetes within the Highlands has noted that the link between primary and secondary to be successful in offering prompt referral following initial diagnosis. Patients have noted local Diabetes UK support groups to be a valuable resource in providing information and education. In addition nursing staff have been praised for the reassurance and encouragement given at diabetes clinics when commencing insulin regimens.

Voluntary Groups within Highland

  • Inverness Tadpoles
  • Inverness and District
  • Caithness
  • North Argyll

What people have said about diabetes care in Highland

"I would like to be given a print out/chart at each visit (or posted to me after my appointment) with all my results on it and the results from the previous visit. This would enable me to know exactly what I am being screened for, the results and how they compare with my previous ones."

Tell the Scottish Government about your diabetes

The Scottish Government’s websiteBetter Togetheris also interested to hear of people’s experiences of diabetes care.  By submitting your experience of NHS care the government hope to improve health services across Scotland. You can follow this link or if you would like send us we’ll do it for you.

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