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Diabetes care very poor

6th November 2012

The Public Accounts Committee has published a report which shows the standard of treatment for people who have diabetes in England is subject to a postcode lottery.

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The parliamentary committee's report said performance for diabetes care was "depressingly poor".

The report's findings follow critical studies published this year by Diabetes UK and the National Audit Office.

Both studies showed that fewer than 50% of diabetes patients were given the nine basic tests they were entitled to by the NHS.

Estimates have suggested that 24,000 deaths could be prevented every year if people with diabetes were given the right treatment.

The committee's chairwoman, Margaret Hodge, said: "There is no strong leadership and no effective accountability. Variation in the level of progress across the NHS also means that there is an unacceptable 'postcode lottery' of care."

However a Department of Health spokesman said: "We do not accept the conclusion that services are 'depressingly poor' as there has been progress - an extra 750,000 people got all nine diabetes checks over the last four years."

"But we know there has been unacceptable variation and we are determined to put that right." 

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