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Cost of diabetes doubles over 10 years

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The cost of diabetes has skyrocketed in the last The cost of diabetes has skyrocketed in the last 10 years

The bill for items prescribed to patients with diabetes has nearly doubled since 2005, data from the HSCIC has found. In 2015/16 there were 49.7 million items prescribed for diabetes at a total cost of £956.7 million, up from 27.1 million items costing £513.9 million in 2005/06.

‘These stark figures show the need for a greater focus on preventing Type 2 Diabetes,’ said Helen Donovan, RCN Public Health professional lead. ‘There is a close association between the increase in obesity and type 2 diabetes and the prevention of both is essential. Encouraging healthier lifestyles would not only save the NHS money, it would improve countless lives.’

The bill for diabetes is currently the largest cost for primary care prescribing, taking up 10.6% of the total budget. Of this, Antidiabetic drugs make up 44.2% of the total £956.7 million cost of drugs used in diabetes. The cost in 2015/16 per person ranged from below £310 to the nearest pound in the lowest 25 per cent to above £353 to the nearest pound in the highest 25%.

‘As with other long-term conditions, people with diabetes deserve the right support to properly manage their condition and avoid complications. Nurses play a big role in this, particularly working in the community, but cuts in this area mean many patients are missing out on this vital support.This is bad for the health service’s finances but more importantly it can be devastating for patients,' added Ms Donovan.

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Yes, its true nurses play a big role in community, and currently that role has been undertaken by practice nurses who have 35 other conditions to deal with hence often struggle to spend adequate time to give appropriate support and advice to patients with diabetes. I have the great respect for practice nurses who are often overwhelmed with demand on their role, which seems to be expanding all the time. But I feel strongly that this vital role is best done by diabetes specialist nurses. Just recently finished from working within a GP surgery due to changes in the CCG, patients with diabetes where very upset as some stated they wouldn't have improved their diabetes control without me as their diabetes specialis nurse as I had the skills, knowledge and passion to help them with their diabetes. Just to highlight that as a diabetes specialist nurse and as a prescriber, we are more likely to prescribe appropriately and adequately hence be cost effective as often in general practice once a medication is prescribed, it just get continously repeated due to infrequent monitoring. This is often due to time constraints and just generally surgeries are busy with the high flux of patients.
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