Failures are leading to premature deaths according to Parliamentary group

  • Failures are leading to premature deaths according to Parliamentary group
  • Almost half of sufferers not getting nine recommended annual checks

Jenny Hope

20:31 EST, 19 March 2013


06:21 EST, 20 March 2013

Thousands of people with diabetes are being failed by ‘shocking variations’ in NHS treatment, warn MPs.

The overall picture is of ‘poor, fragmented, expensive and patchy care’ despite £1million an hour being spent on diabetes by the NHS.

A new report by the All Party Parliamentary group for Diabetes (APPG) says failures are leading to devastating complications such as blindness, amputation and stroke, and premature deaths.

Failures: A new report by the All Party Parliamentary group for Diabetes (APPG) says NHS failures are leading to devastating complications such as blindness, amputation and stroke, and premature deaths

Failures: A new report by the All Party Parliamentary group for Diabetes (APPG) says NHS failures are leading to devastating complications such as blindness, amputation and stroke, and premature deaths

It found almost half of people with diabetes in England are not getting the nine annual checks recommended by the NHS, with some areas providing barely one in 20 patients with the whole range of checks.

The figures are worse for children, said the report, as 96 per cent don’t receive all the annual routine checks they should.

APPG chairman and Torbay MP Adrian Sanders 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.

‘This postcode lottery of care is leading to devastating health conditions and premature death for many people with the condition.

‘I was moved by the powerful testimony of a person with diabetes who had lost part of his foot as a complication of diabetes’ he added.

The number of Britons diagnosed with diabetes has hit three million for the first time this year, according to figures released earlier this month.

Challenge: APPG chairman and Torbay MP Adrian Sanders says that diabetes is 'one of the greatest challenges we face'

Challenge: APPG chairman and Torbay MP Adrian Sanders says that diabetes is ‘one of the greatest challenges we face’

Nine out of ten people with diabetes have type 2 which occurs when the body gradually loses the ability to process blood sugar, leading to high levels which can damage body organs and years of ill-health. The remainder have type 1 which needs insulin treatment.

Type 2 is strongly linked to lifestyle factors such as being overweight or obese, leading a sedentary lifestyle and eating an unhealthy diet.

Every year in England and Wales, 24,000 people with diabetes die earlier than expected.

The latest report, which took testimony from patients, NHS staff and experts, says diabetes costs the NHS over £10billion a year – around £1million an hour.

But eighty per cent goes on managing complications, many of which could be prevented, it says.

Mr Sanders, who has type 1 diabetes, said the group heard repeatedly from people who were not receiving nine basic annual checks including blood pressure and blood glucose.

‘Others did not know what checks they had or had not had, or had no record of the results of those checks’ he said.

The number of people receiving all nine checks ranged from six per cent to around 69 per cent depending on the area they lived.

The report found ‘shocking’ variations in levels of amputations – with the majority preventable through good care.

One on four people in nursing homes has diabetes, but many are undiagnosed, said the report.

It follows the Public Accounts Committee diabetes report that highlighted the “depressingly poor” state of diabetes healthcare.

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.

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‘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.

‘This is why we welcome the All Party Parliament Group for Diabetes’ call for a national implementation plan for improved diabetes care.’

Karen Addington, chief executive of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, said ‘The Diabetes APPG’s specific demand for increased government funding into type 1 diabetes medical research, echoes our own call.

‘Type 1 diabetes is a serious and challenging condition that affects 400,000 UK children and adults – and cost the country £1.9 billion in 2011.

‘This research and its outcomes would not only improve the lives of those living with type 1 diabetes, but would also help protect the NHS from spiralling costs.’

The comments below have not been moderated.

That’s because the majority of Diabetics are type 2! Who if actually looked after their diet would not have any troubles! I think they should be made to pay for testing strips, they got themselves in that state in the first place! Unlike my 5 yr old, who is type 1 and has no choice in treatment! So I do not sympathise at all!

Walrus Lizard King Fangirl

London, UK,
20/3/2013 19:38

A type 2 diabetic has to pay for testing strips, but a drug addict can get access to free needles and their methadone


Glasgow, United Kingdom,
20/3/2013 16:54

My husband was given Metformin after he stopped taking statins due to his muscles breaking down and he now has Fybromyalgia and suffers hair loss Metformin also has side effects and last month he was admiited to hospital twice with suspected stroke I read the side effects to metformin and my husbands symtoms were as reported on the leaflet, confusion, loss of memory etc It took time to convince our doctor Since he has been taken off metformin he is much better I understan from my relations in Australia if you have your D and A tested it will show if metformin are suitable for you If this works it would save the NHS a lot of money


20/3/2013 16:43

Diabetes is not a one size fits all condition. Each case will be different depending on age, BMI, diet, family history, cultural practices, medication, other medical conditions and lifestyle etc. There is a distinct difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 is an auto-immune condition which affects around 7% of all people with diabetes, usually in the under 40 age group. It happens when the insulin producing Beta cells are attacked by the immune system and the person then needs daily injections of insulin to stay alive. Historically type 2 happens in the 40+ age group and can be caused by lifestyle, obesity and a genetic predisposition. Type 2 can be controlled by diet, tablets or insulin. There is a wealth of support available. Diabetes healthcare teams in most areas provide courses like DESMOND or DAFNE and charities like DRWF provide free resources and educational days to help people manage their diabetes and prevent or delay the long term complications.


Portsmouth, United Kingdom,
20/3/2013 14:35

One study showed that for type 2 Diabetes 8 weeks of severe calorie restriction greatly improved the Diabetes and the improvement persisted for 7 out of 11 patients.
Obviously this would need to be done under medical supervision as it was in the study but if it really really works surely it would be worth the time and effort.


20/3/2013 14:33

I am amazed at the variable comments on here. I was diagnosed ‘Type 2’ 12 years ago at the GP practise. Suffolk have a Diabetic care scheme which involved attending a Diabetic awareness course run by diabetic specialists and diaticians at West Suffolk hospital. I was put on insulin when Metformin alone was not doing the trick. All my prescription needs ie testing strips etc are on my scripts. I have eye retinopathy tests every year also arranged by the scheme. There is also a twice yearly general follow up check, so maybe I am fortunate in the Suffolk care arrangements, the rest is up to me


silly suffolk,
20/3/2013 14:11

There is no excuse for this, there are national guidelines in place for treating and monitoring diabetics, any institution that does not follow this, then the head of that organisation should be sacked.

solomon 1066

20/3/2013 13:50

I am type 2. I followed the official NHS advice on diet ie lots of carbs, low fat etc. I put on a lot of weight and my blood glucose was according to my GP, “out of control”. I did lots of research, took myself in hand and followed a low carb diet, including lots of cheese (my favourite food). My weight dropped, 4 st over a year and my BG was within normal range. My GP said, “I don’t know what you’re doing, but keep on doing it” Best advice I can give to other diabetics – find what works for you and stick with it.


20/3/2013 13:24

Simpy stop eating grains and sugar, and watch your diabetes disappear! Elegantly simple, so why doesn’t your doctor give you that advice? MONEY! The Medical Mafia gets poor when you get well. They DO NOT want to heal you, they want to manage your illness forever. Run away from conventional medicine, it will kill you, period!


20/3/2013 13:16

Those checkups do absolutely nothing to help any diabetics control their carbohydrate intake or sugar levels unless the patient is able to monitor their own glucose levels at home before and after they eat! Diabetics are told to cut out sugar, sweats and cakes and watch fats but don’t know the difference between a good lower carb diet and the poor one they are advised continually to eat. It’s a fact that knowledgeable diabetics have had to learn by trial and error and most Doctors and Dietitians are only allowed to tell you what they are told to tell patients even when they know different!. Type twos and the overweight have slower metabolism due to too many carbs poly fats so advising them to eat wholemeal, grain and more low GI carbs is wrong ineffective for lowering blood glucose levels, having more brain energy, losing weight and avoiding serious health problems. Sugar, Grain, flour and some dairy items and seed fat oils are the real enemies of the liver and immune system.


20/3/2013 13:14

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