Calls for simple health checks as diabetes care reaches 'state of crisis' as sufferers are failing to get even basic care



06:43 GMT, 14 May 2012

Simple health steps could help stave off the health risks of diabetes as a new report warns care for the potentially life-threatening condition in England is in a 'state of crisis'.

A State of the Nation 2012 report, published by Diabetes UK, revealed that less than half of people diagnosed with the condition are receiving basic minimum care.

And just a miniscule six per cent of patients with diabetes are getting regular checks and the level of care recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice).

Preventative measures: Regular medical tests could help prevent serious diabetes-related conditions

Preventative measures: Regular medical tests could help prevent serious diabetes-related conditions

The report reveals that the lack of essential medical checks have caused an increase in diabetes-related complications such as amputation, blindness, kidney failure and stroke that account for 80 per cent of NHS spending – which amounts to 10 billion – on the condition.

But the report highlighted key health steps that could help prevent these complications.

Nine of the checks recommended by NICE are blood pressure and blood sugar measurement, cholesterol checks, weight management, eye examinations for retinopathy, quitting smoking, foot and leg checks for possible diabetic complications and kidney function analysis.


Diabetes UK has come up with a list of health steps that could help prevent serious ailments associated with the condition.

1. Regular blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol checks

2. Eye screening for retinopathy

3. Regular checks of circulation and nerves

4. Kidney function checks

5. Quit smoking

6. Weight management

7. Specialist NHS care for diabetic patients

8. Education courses for diabetic patients to learn how to manage the condition

But Diabetes UK is also calling fordiabetes sufferers to attend education courses to help manage their condition and more specialist healthcare management.

A National Service Framework for diabetes – which sets out these recommendations – has been in place for 11 years but has yet to come to fruition.

Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: 'We already know that diabetes is costing the NHS a colossal amount of money, but this report shows how in exchange for this investment we are getting second rate healthcare that is putting people with diabetes at increased risk of tragic complications and early death.

'The report shows that diabetes healthcare has drifted into a state of crisis. It is a compelling case for change.

There are at least 3.7 million people with diabetes in the UK. Just 49.8 per cent get the checks and services recommended by nice.