Education failure only ‘tip of iceberg’
A report stating over a third of areas in England do not commission education for everyone with diabetes is only the “tip of the iceberg”, according to a leading researcher into the condition.
Professor Melanie Davies, from the University of Leicester and the Leicester Diabetes Centre, believes the true picture is worse as some trusts are only offering education to a limited number of people.
Many of the programmes offered may not fulfil the criteria and standards set down by heath watchdog NICE and expected by people, the professor of diabetes medicine at the University of Leicester’s Diabetes Research Centre added.
Professor Davies said the NHS is facing a “turbulent future” with spiralling costs and misery from diabetes complications unless health leaders “take diabetes education seriously”.
The Diabetes UK report was part of the charity’s ‘Taking Control’ campaign.
Professor Davies said: “People need to be given the essential knowledge and skills to manage their diabetes otherwise they will be at risk of complications, including blindness, amputation, heart disease or stroke.
“It’s time to take diabetes education seriously or people will face these devastating consequences and the NHS will face a turbulent future as it struggles to cope. Self-management education programmes that meet the national quality standards are a proven way of supporting people to self-care in diabetes.
“Self-management is not just about giving people a leaflet, it should be about a quality experience where they can get to grips with their condition.”
The Leicester Diabetes Centre is an international centre of excellence in diabetes research, education and innovation.
Hosted at Leicester General Hospital, the centre is a partnership between the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the University of Leicester.