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Tuesday 25th October 2016

Majority of NHS diabetes spending 'avoidable'

25th April 2012

A report has found that the cost of most health service spending on diabetes could be reduced by carrying out more frequent health checks.


The report, published in the Diabetic Medicine journal, suggested that 80% of the health service's £9.8 billion expenditure on diabetes was spent on dealing with complications of the disease.

Around 3.8 million people in the UK have diabetes. Complications of the disease include heart disease, stroke, blindness and kidney failure. 

The report also predicted that diabetes expenditure in 2035 would cost the NHS 17% of its total budget, at a cost of £16.8 billion a year. 

The Impact Diabetes report examined the costs of patient care by the NHS of type 1 diabetes (£1 billion) and type 2 diabetes (£8.8 billion).

Baroness Barbara Young, from the charity Diabetes UK, said: "The report shows that without urgent action, the already huge sums of money spent on treating diabetes will rise to unsustainable levels that threaten to bankrupt the NHS."

"If this rise in diabetes is allowed to continue, as is happening at the moment, it will simply be disastrous for the NHS and wreck NHS budgets. I think we have a car crash coming.

She added that the fact that 80% of NHS spending was on complications caused by the condition was "hugely wasteful".

"We need to stop this now and make sure people get the right sort of care early on in their condition." 


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