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Diabetes care 'improving'

21st August 2008

A government report has indicated that diabetes care in this country is improving.

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However, the Department of Health study, which analysed progress made since its diabetes plan was published in 2003 says there is still a long way to go before the NHS is providing top quality services.

Twelve key standards were outlined in the 10-year diabetes national service framework and the DH report said progress was being made in all areas.

The document said prevention, diagnosis and treatment of patients in England was getting better but that more needed to be done for pregnant women, children and emergencies such as hypoglycaemic attacks or episodes of low blood sugar.

In the last five years an extra 600,000 diagnoses have been made, though it is feared that there may still be half a million more cases that have been undiagnosed.

Diabetes remains a major challenge for the NHS with about two million cases and more expected due to obesity or as the population ages.

The government’s diabetes tsar Dr Rowan Hillson said: "The NHS has responded impressively to the first five years of the national service framework.  More and more people with diabetes are getting good routine care."

But Douglas Smallwood, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: "Much more needs to be done to ensure that all people with, and those at risk of, diabetes have access to the information, education, support and high-quality care to enable them to manage their condition on a day-to-day basis with the help of specialist diabetes teams."

 

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