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NHS Lothian

Updated 16 June 2011

Who has diabetes?



Why are these figures important? 

Lothian  profile

NHS Lothian provide healthcare to approximately 800,000 members of the public. Within this population 4.0% of individuals have diabetes. This is 0.6% lower than the Scottish average and represents the lowest prevalence of this condition in the country.  32,717 individuals are recorded as having diabetes and using statistics from the Scottish Public Health Network we estimate that perhaps a further 7,586 people have this condition but have yet to be diagnosed.  Lothian has a relatively younger population compared to the rest of Scotland and levels of deprivation are also lower. 

The Better Diabetes Care survey, conducted by Diabetes UK Scotland in 2009, has suggested that a higher proportion of individuals with diabetes in the Lothian area have been offered diabetes education when compared to the rest of the nation. Access to referred to services such as diabetic retinopathy screening have been found to be similar to Scotland as a whole, with 1 in 10 people with diabetes not receiving annual eye checks.

Just over half of people with diabetes looking after their own feet without professional input (54%). About 1 in 10 people use private care as an alternative to NHS care, which they say they cannot access. Access to NHS podiatry and frequency of appointments were the two main areas for improvement highlighted by respondents.

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 Lothian area has noted that this Health Board provides positive support from healthcare professionals that acts to encourage individuals to better manage their diabetes. Continuity of care when seeing the same doctor in addition to the work undertaken by diabetes specialist nurses has been deemed by patients to be invaluable.

Voluntary Groups within Lothian

  • Edinburgh Voluntary Group
  • West Lothian

What people have said about diabetes care in Lothian

"When diabetes ‘advanced’ to require insulin, both hospital consultant and diabetes specialist nurse very informative, patient and understanding."

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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