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Urgent action needed for diabetes care

30th June 2011

A major diabetes warning has been issued to health organisations in England and Wales.

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The National Diabetes Audit of patients has indicated that the health service could face a “diabetes time bomb” with some 800,000 Type 1 and Type 2 patients having elevated blood sugar levels which could lead to kidney failure, limb amputation and stroke.

The NHS Information Centre report confirmed that diabetes cases, especially Type 2, is increasing with deprived communities worst hit and that patients who were young or middle aged could require substantial hospital care before long.

Audit lead clinician, Dr Bob Young, consultant diabetologist and clinical lead for the National Diabetes Information Service, said: “These results ring alarm bells. They show that younger people make up a quarter of all those with diabetes yet have the highest risks of potentially preventable complications.

“If these risks could be reduced, much future disability and shortened life expectancy could be prevented.”

Dr Rowan Hillson, National Clinical Director for Diabetes, said the findings of the National Diabetes Audit show there was still a long way to go in delivering basic standards of diabetes care for everyone.

Diabetes UK chief executive Barbara Young said: “This highlights the need for urgent action to ensure that people with diabetes start to receive all the basic care processes otherwise there will be more amputations, more people going blind, and more cases of kidney failure, heart disease and stroke.”

Experts have warned that regular health checks for blood sugar levels, smoking and eye and foot care, should be made on diabetes patients.

 

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