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People living with diabetes are missing vital care

A new report by Diabetes UK has revealed stark health inequalities in diabetes care with people not receiving vital checks

The charity’s report, revealed that only 47% of people living with diabetes received all eight of their required checks in 2021-22, meaning 1.9 million did not receive the care they needed.

They have today called on the government to address the routine diabetes care backlog and prevent avoidable deaths of people living with diabetes.

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Chief executive of Diabetes UK, Chris Askew called the stats ‘deeply alarming’ and said too many people are being left ‘to go it alone’ when managing their condition.

‘We know health professionals are working incredibly hard to give people the care they need, but they are just too stretched to provide the time and personalised support that is required, and it’s having a catastrophic impact.

‘The government must commit to tackling this diabetes care crisis in its Major Conditions Strategy, while local health systems should make it a priority in their plans.’

The report also revealed the wide health inequalities present in diabetes care.

 One in three people in the most deprived areas found it difficult to contact their diabetes healthcare team in 2022 compared to one in four in the least deprived.

Diabetes UK reported that deaths related to the condition are up by 7,000 a year compared to pre-pandemic levels which they fear is linked to the backlog in routine care caused by the pandemic.

They are calling for a commitment in the plans of every Integrated Care Board in England to address the backlog in care, inequalities in access to care and put type 2 diabetes prevention at the heart of their strategies.

An NHS spokesperson responded to the report with: ‘While the proportion of people receiving all eight NHS diabetes care processes has continued to improve towards pre-pandemic levels, we know there is still work to do.

‘Recovery of routine care remains a key priority for the NHS, and, since the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, local areas have been given £36 million to help restore their diabetes services to pre-pandemic levels, with a further £5 million as part of a national Recovery Fund established in 2021/22 with the aim of supporting recovery of routine diabetes care through innovative projects across England.’