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Meeting three treatment targets could save NHS £727m

By Editor
29th August 2019
Care planning, Type 2 diabetes Type 2 prevention

Healthcare professionals are being urged to help people with type 2 diabetes to meet their three treatment targets as it could save the NHS more than £727 million across a decade.  

The study, supported from the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford and Diabetes UK, showed that those who met their treatment targets lowered their risk of developing diabetes-related complications by £1,037 per person.

NHS England currently spends approximately £10 billion every year on treating diabetes in all its forms. Most of this is spent on treating complications which include sight loss, heart attacks, strokes and nerve damage.

This research shows just how much could be saved if all people with type 2 diabetes over the age of 20 were helped to meet all of their NICE-defined treatment targets Nikki Joule, Policy Manager at Diabetes UK

This figure is likely to increase as the prevalence of type 2 diabetes continues to rise. The number of people living with the condition has doubled in the last 20 years.

Mi Jun Keng, a researcher at the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, and lead author of the paper, said: “Meeting all three treatment targets reduces the costs to the NHS of treating complications by about £1000 per patient. This could lead to substantial savings for the NHS considering the high and increasing prevalence of Type 2 diabetes in England and Wales.”

Nikki Joule, Policy Manager at Diabetes UK, said: “This research shows just how much could be saved if all people with type 2 diabetes over the age of 20 were helped to meet all of their NICE-defined treatment targets. Currently, fewer than two in five meet all three, and this needs to change.

“We hope these findings categorically demonstrate to healthcare commissioners that there are significant economic benefits in improving the support people with type 2 diabetes receive to help them manage their condition.

“It’s vital that all people with diabetes are given the support they need to meet as many of their treatment targets as possible. This will help people with diabetes live longer, healthier lives and could also save money for our already stretched NHS.”

The research also showed that meeting all three treatment targets leads to an additional 1.5 years of healthy life per person due to a reduced risk of complications.

Professor Borislava Mihaylova, the senior author of the paper, noted: “Our study shows that if the 10 per cent lowest performing GP practices (with about a quarter of their patients meeting the targets) were to reach the target levels achieved by the top 10 per cent performing GP practices (with about half of patients meeting the targets), they would realise an average gain of 30 years of life for every 100 patients or 3.6 months per patient. These benefits would more than double if they could get all their patients to meet all three treatment targets.”

While the research focuses on just three treatment targets, people with diabetes are also entitled to their 15 healthcare essentials.

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