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Largest diabetes audit reveals gaps in paediatric care

Diabetes UK expressed concern today that 83 per cent of children and young people with diabetes are not achieving recommended blood glucose levels, according to the biggest audit of diabetes care in the world.

Published today by the Information Centre, the National Diabetes Audit on children and young people in England and Wales reveals that only 2.6 per cent of those aged between 12 and 24 received all of the eight vital checks such as blood glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol, foot and eye exams.

In addition, almost a quarter (22.4 per cent) did not even receive the most basic check for blood glucose.

“It is absolutely disgraceful that four out of five children and young people are struggling to reach target blood glucose levels because they are struggling to access appropriate information, support and education," said Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK.

"Good blood glucose control is the cornerstone of diabetes management, which can help reduce the risk of diabetic complications.

"An overburdened NHS already spends £5 billion of its annual budget on treating long-term diabetic complications. With increasing rates of diabetes, huge improvements in care are needed now if we want to give our children a future without the threat of losing their sight or going on kidney dialysis.

“An audit such as this is vital in giving us access to accurate and timely information. Although there has been a large increase in the amount of data submitted last year, this still represents under half of the population. We would urge as many paediatric units as possible to take part in the audit next year.”

The Diabetes National Audit also reports on the quality of care for adults with diabetes in England and Wales.

Key findings include:

  • 40 per cent of adults with diabetes aren’t achieving recommended blood glucose levels, putting them at risk of serious complications like heart and kidney disease, blindness, strokes and amputations.
  • Only 30 per cent of adults received all care checks such as blood glucose, cholesterol, eye and foot exams.
  • More women remain undiagnosed than men, particularly women aged over 40. 

The National Diabetes Audit is commissioned and sponsored by the Healthcare Commission and developed in partnership with Diabetes UK.


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