Leading charity warns Jeremy Hunt over diabetes care
The Independent Diabetes Trust (IDDT), an independent charity for people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, is very concerned at the level of care received by adults and children with diabetes within the NHS.
IDDT has prepared a report, Diabetes 2015 – Care in Crisis, from the findings of a membership survey, to which nearly 4,000 people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes responded.
The Government is planning a Diabetes Prevention Programme to reduce the future incidence of obesity and Type 2 diabetes and while this is welcome for the future, our concerns have to be for the health of over 3 million people who are already living with diabetes. The Report highlights their concerns and makes recommendations that could help to alleviate some of the problems people with diabetes are facing, many of whom have not received the essential care they need to maintain their health and avoid the complications of diabetes.
We have sent the Report to the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt and to Sir Simon Stevens, the Chief Executive of NHS England, both of whom are in positions to improve the lives and future health of people with diabetes and in doing so, also reduce the NHS costs of diabetes by lowering the diabetes complication rates.
The Report makes the following recommendations.
Diabetes should be a priority in the Five Year Forward Review, independently of obesity and in a similar way to dementia, which has a third of the number of people with diabetes, by reinstating an organisation similar to the defunct NHS Diabetes.
The present dietary guidelines are over 30 years old, therefore an independent, systematic review should be carried out to provide up-to-date, evidence-based dietary guidelines for diabetes and the public.
As an estimated 2.5 million people have not received the NICE recommended high-quality, structured education courses, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) should be strongly encouraged to, at least, provide basic hard copy information about Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and their treatments.
Resources should be increased to ensure that adults with diabetes receive the 9 key health checks and children receive the 7 key health checks recommended by NICE to prevent the complications of diabetes.
There must be an increase in the availability of NHS podiatrists and further training of health professionals in primary care to ensure that foot problems are recognised and treated at an early stage to avoid amputations, 80% of which are estimated to be avoidable.
CCGs must improve the care and quality of life for older people with diabetes resident in care homes, by ensuring that care home staff of all levels receive training in diabetes care and mandatory demonstration of this should be a CQC requirement.
We accept that there are many competing interests within the NHS, but as diabetes is a growing problem, often described as a time-bomb, we hope that the Government and its related bodies will consider implementing the full recommendations in ‘Diabetes 2015 – Care in Crisis’ to improve the health and quality of life of people already living with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
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