MPs: Health care failing diabetics
Published 20/03/2013 | 00:06
Diabetes health care in England is failing thousands of people, a group of MPs has warned.
Members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes have called on ministers to take action on the "poor state" of diabetes care after its report highlighted "huge variations" in standards of care across the country.
It added that almost half of people with diabetes are not getting the nine annual checks recommended by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice). The MPs said that without this care, patients are at higher risk of developing diabetes-related complications such as blindness, strokes or amputations.
The report calls for a national plan for better healthcare across the country and also says the Government should increase funding for type 1 diabetes.
Torbay MP Adrian Sanders, chairman of the group, said: "Diabetes is one of the greatest challenges we face yet diabetes healthcare is poor, patchy and expensive, and too many people with the condition are not getting the care or support they desperately need.
"It is completely unacceptable that barely half of people with diabetes are getting the nine checks and services recommended by Nice. This postcode lottery of care is leading to devastating health conditions and premature death for many people with the condition.
"While we welcome the Government's acceptance that care for people with diabetes is poor and must improve, we now need the Government to spell out exactly how they intend to make diabetes a priority so that everyone with diabetes receives the care and support they need.
"Unless this happens, thousands more people a year will be condemned to entirely avoidable debilitating complications and early death."
Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: "Time and time again we hear about the depressingly poor state of diabetes healthcare, yet we are still waiting to hear how the Government intends to deal with what is fast becoming a crisis. The Government must designate diabetes as a priority and commit to ensuring everyone with diabetes gets good quality care so that they can live long healthy lives."
In the UK, there are 3.8 million people with diabetes, including about 850,000 who have type 2 diabetes but do not know it.