Calls for more education as Type 2 diabetes soars
Health bosses need to ensure people with diabetes have access to self-management education to avoid the “misery” of the condition’s complications and a “looming NHS crises”, a leading researcher in diabetes education has said.
Dr Marian Carey, of the Leicester Diabetes Centre (LDC), made the comments in response to new figures published yesterday by Diabetes UK showing the number of people with diabetes in the UK has reached an all-time high of 3.9 million mainly due to a rise in Type 2 diabetes.
The charity has said the NHS needs to ensure people have access to education to enable them to manage the condition well and that “at the moment, diabetes education is barely provided, resulting in devastating health complications, including amputation, blindness and stroke”.
Dr Carey is part of the group which founded the NHS gold standard education course for Type 2 diabetes, DESMOND, and is the Director of the Structured Education Research Portfolio at the LDC.
She said: “With diabetes prevalence continuing to rise, the NHS faces a major challenge. Self-management education programmes that meet the national quality standards are a proven way of supporting people to self-care in diabetes. We believe this kind of diabetes education is key to preventing this looming NHS crisis and the misery of the complications of the condition.
People with diabetes have a demanding condition to manage, yet on average they get to share this with a healthcare professional for an hour a year only
“People with diabetes have a demanding condition to manage, yet on average they get to share this with a healthcare professional for an hour a year only. One hour of support out of a total of 8,766 to help them manage a condition which, if neglected, could lead to blindness, a lost limb or an increased risk of a stroke or heart attack. That’s 525,900 minutes that a person has to draw on their own resources to manage their condition.”
The new information from Diabetes UK, extracted from official NHS data and published at the start of Diabetes Week, show that there were 3,333,069 adults registered with diabetes in 2013-2014, an increase of more than 125,000 adults compared to the previous year. This increase is equivalent to the population of Norwich. The number of people estimated to have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes is 590,000 adults in 2013-2014.
In March, a report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes found poor delivery of diabetes education was leading to devastating complications and huge costs to the NHS. The report titled ‘Taking control: Supporting people with diabetes’ also found only 16 per cent of people newly diagnosed with diabetes are offered access to a formal course.
The Leicester Diabetes Centre is an international centre of excellence in diabetes research, education and innovation, based at Leicester General Hospital. It is a partnership between the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the University of Leicester.
DESMOND is an NHS programme which teaches people with Type 2 diabetes how to manage their condition and is delivered by more than 90 NHS trusts.