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UK diabetes treatment is ‘unacceptable’ say MPs

By Editor
22nd January 2016
Latest news, Research Type 2 prevention

There are “unacceptable variations” in diabetes treatment across the UK, according to a group of MPs.

In a report compiled by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the group also criticised the Department of Health and the NHS in England for being “too slow” to act in preventing the condition.

The Management of Adult Diabetes Services in the NHS: Progress Review, which has just been published, said: “There are unacceptable variations in the take up of education programmes, delivery of recommended care processes, achievement of treatment standards and in outcomes for diabetes patients.”

It also pointed out there are ” significant geographic variations” across clinical commissioning groups in the way diabetes is treated. 

The NHS and Department for Health have been too slow in tackling diabetes, both in prevention and treatment.

While the number of people with diabetes experiencing complications continues to increase, diabetes specialist staffing levels in hospitals are not keeping pace with the increasing percentage of beds occupied by people with the condition.

The Committee calls on the Department for Health and NHS England to take rapid action to improve the spread of best practice in preventing and treating the condition.

‘Performing poorly’

NHS England has been working on the national roll out of the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, which it predicts will eventually help around 100,000 people a year, but the Committee said more needs to be done.

“We welcome the introduction of the new NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme but, by itself, this will not be enough to stem the rising number of people with diabetes.”

The report added: “The Department, NHS England, and Public Health England will need to move at pace and at scale to stem the rising number of people with diabetes.”

Meg Hillier MP, Chair of the PAC, said: “The NHS and Department for Health have been too slow in tackling diabetes, both in prevention and treatment.

“The number of people with diabetes is increasing, as is the number of patients who develop complications. It is a very serious condition that can have a huge impact on people’s lives. Yet support available to patients and those at risk varies hugely across the country.”

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