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Diabetes education is focus of new guidelines

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New guidelines focus on education New guidelines focus on education

Increasing education of diabetes is a key message in a series of updated diabetes guidelines released by NICE to tackle the growing number of people in the UK with diabetes.

The three guidelines for type 1 diabetes in adults, type 1 and 2 diabetes in children and young people and diabetic foot problems provide a series of recommendations for health professionals in order to tackle the growing numbers of people with diabetes in the UK. Public Health England figures released today have shown that more than 5 million people could be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The guideline for adults includes recommendations such as offering all adults a structured education programme around 6-12 months after diagnosis and offering daily multiple injections instead of twice daily injections.

Professor Stephanie Amiel, Professor of diabetic medicine at King's College London and Cchair of the NICE group which developed the type 1 guideline, said most adults with type 1 diabetes do not maintain the average amount of glucose in their blood (HbA1c) associated with fewer complications which can lead to a reduced life expectancy. 'The new recommendations aim to ensure adults with type 1 diabetes can gain the information, support, skills and confidence they need to manage treatment regimens designed to improve HbA1c levels, and to make the most of technology improvements to support more normal blood glucose levels,' she said.

The recommendations included in the guidance for children includes same-day referrals for any children with suspected type 1 diabetes, offering ongoing real-time continuous glucose monitoring with alams for children with frequent severe hypoglycaemia or are unable to recognise of communicate symptoms of hypoglycaemia.

The guideline for diabetic foot problems focuses on quicker referrals and the creation of individual treatment plans to manage the condition. Recent analysis by Diabetes UK has found that the NHS treats more than 200,000 cases of diabetes complications a year.

Rachel Berrington, diabetes specialist nurse and NICE guideline developer, highlighted that diabetic foot problems can lead to minor or major amputations and even death. 'This guideline sets the standard for managing diabetic foot problems for all people with diabetes, including children and young people, in all NHS settings. For example the guideline identifies people who need immediate attention from the multidisciplinary foot care service or acute services,' she added.

Mortality rates after diabetic foot ulceration and amputation are high, with up to 70% of people dying within 5 years of having an amputation and around 50% dying within 5 years of developing a diabetic foot ulcer.

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