MPs to tackle diabetes care

Too many patients with diabetes are developing potentially life-threatening complications because they are not receiving the straightforward care and support they need, MPs have said.

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Department of Health outline diabetes care plan

We do not accept the conclusion that services are 'depressingly poor' as there has been progress - an extra 750,000 people got all nine diabetes checks over the last four years.

By putting GPs and other doctors and nurses at the centre of making local NHS decisions, we will create more integrated care for all patients with long term health problems.

Through Public Health England, local authorities will also be given a ring-fenced budget to tackle problems such as obesity which can then prevent diabetes.

We will ask the NHS Commissioning Board, in the forthcoming mandate, to make real improvements to how people with long-term conditions are supported and empowered to make decisions about their care.

– A Department of Health spokeswoman

Diabetes UK: 'NHS failings on care baffling'

Given all the increasingly strong evidence of inadequate care, we simply cannot understand why the NHS has sleepwalked into this situation.

This has led to huge numbers of potentially preventable complications such as amputation and blindness and to many thousands of people dying before their time.

This is a tragedy for those people and their families and the current approach is also a huge waste of public money, as diabetes-related complications are extremely expensive to treat.

It is baffling that the low priority the NHS has given to diabetes has allowed this situation to develop when there is nothing controversial about how to deliver quality healthcare.

– Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK

NHS faces 'ever-increasing costs in diabetes care'

The NHS spends at least £3.9 billion a year on diabetes services and around 80% of that goes on treating avoidable complications.

The number of people with diabetes is set to rise from 3.1 million to 3.8 million between now and 2020 and unless care improves significantly the NHS will face ever-increasing costs.

– Margaret Hodge, Public Accounts Committee chair

800,000 suffering from diabetes remain undiagnosed

  • In 2009-10, there were 2.3 million adults diagnosed with diabetes in England and a further 800,000 people suffering from diabetes who remained undiagnosed.
  • The percentage of the population diagnosed with diabetes doubled between 1994 and 2009 and is increasing.
  • The number of people with diabetes (diagnosed and undiagnosed) will rise from 3.1 million to 3.8 million by 2020.
  • Budget for diabetes is £3.9 billion


MPs call for improved diabetes care

MPs claim that there is no strong national leadership of diabetes services, no performance incentives for care providers and no accountability arrangements for NHS commissioners.

They added that they have seen no evidence that the new NHS structure will address these concerns.

The committee called on the Department of Health to set out how improvements on diabetes services will be delivered in the reformed NHS.

NHS patients 'face postcode lottery'

In a highly critical report on the management of adult diabetic services in the NHS, MPs also claim that patients face a postcode lottery of treatment.

  • Fewer than half of patients receive the recommended levels of care, including nine basic care checks which reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications such as blindness, amputation or kidney disease, the report found.
  • Progress in delivering the recommended standards of care has been "depressingly poor", the authors conclude.
  • Four fifths of the £3.9 billion spent every year on diabetes services in England is used to treat avoidable complications.
  • And if care does not improve the NHS will continue to incur "ever increasing costs", the committee said.

Diabetes 'kills 24,000 people needlessly a year'

Every year, 24,000 people with diabetes die simply because their disease has not been effectively managed, MPs have said.

Patients with diabetes are not receiving the right care, MPs have warned Credit: PA Wire

According to the Public Accounts Committee, too many patients with diabetes are developing potentially life-threatening complications because they are not receiving the straightforward care and support they need.

Unless diabetes care in the NHS improves "significantly" patients will continue to die prematurely, the committee found.

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