Diabetes survey reveals ‘care in crisis’
Almost 40 per cent of people with diabetes believe the NHS has “worsened” since the £1.1bn health service reforms, according to a new survey.
Around 2.5 million people with the condition have not received high-quality structured education despite the risk of serious complications. This has been shown in a wide-sweeping report laying bare the state of diabetes care in England.
The InDependent Diabetes Trust’s (IDDT) report, ‘Diabetes 2015: Care in Crisis’ based on a survey of more than 15,000 people, has revealed that nearly 40 per cent were not given appropriate advice and information about diet and exercise at the time of diagnosis.
As a result, the charity has sent an urgent series of recommendations to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt calling for fundamental changes, including prioritising the care of people living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
Jenny Hirst, Co-Chair of the charity, said: “While the new national Diabetes Prevention Programme is important, the Trust is very concerned that many of three million plus people who already have diabetes are not receiving the care and treatment they need and deserve. Not only does this adversely affect their long-term health but this added risk of complications of diabetes increases the financial burden placed on the NHS.
“The Trust has over 17,000 members, all of whom live with diabetes. It is clear from contact with members that the care, education and treatment of people with diabetes varies greatly across the country. Some people are receiving excellent care but unfortunately for many people, it is less than adequate.”
The abolition of Primary Care Trusts and introduction of Clinical Commissioning Groups as part of a major NHS reform initiated in 2010 cost £1.1bn by the end of March 2013, according to a National Audit Office report.
However, 38 per cent of respondents said NHS services were worse than five years ago, while seven per cent said there was no improvement.
Only 37 per cent were given appropriate advice and information about diet and exercise at the time of diagnosis while a total of 32 per cent said they did not feel their GP and, or, practice nurse knew enough about diabetes and their condition.
The charity is calling on the Department of Health to address the findings in the report through recommendations, including the introduction of an organisation similar to the now defunct NHS Diabetes, which would work with the clinical community to drive improvements in care.
The charity is also calling for Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to be strongly encouraged to follow NICE guidance to commission convenient and high-quality, structured education courses.
IDDT also wants to see a review to produce evidence-based dietary guidelines for diabetes and the general public to update the current guidance, which is more than three decades old.
The charity also recommends that resources are increased to improve the care of people with diabetes by ensuring that they all receive the nine NICE-backed key health checks to prevent complications.
Other recommendations include increasing the knowledge of health professionals in primary care about foot problems and the numbers and availability of NHS podiatrists.
Increasing resources to provide improvements in the care of children and young people with Type 1 diabetes and good quality training for care home staff are also recommended.
For more information about the charity, visit: http://iddt.org.