Almost two-thirds of people with diabetes do not have a personal care plan to help them manage their condition, research suggests.
Diabetes UK said there is “strong evidence” that having a plan improves health and cuts the chances of serious complications such as kidney failure, amputation, stroke and heart attack.
Its poll of more than 1,600 people with diabetes found 65% had no care plan in place, even though having a plan is recommended by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence.
This is despite the fact that treating complications accounts for 80% of the £10bn the NHS spends every year on diabetes, it said.
“It is about giving the person with diabetes the opportunity to work together with their healthcare team”
Baroness Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “We know that personalised care planning helps put people with diabetes in the driving seat and, crucially, gives them a better chance of a long and healthy life.
“After all, healthcare professionals might only spend a few hours a year with someone with diabetes, while it is the person who has the condition who has to manage it the rest of the time.
She added: “Personalised care planning is not about a person having a sheet on the file at their GP surgery that says ‘personal care plan’.
“To be effective, it must not be a tick-box exercise. It is about giving the person with diabetes the opportunity to work together with their healthcare team to be more informed, more vocal and play a bigger role in their care.
“For example, they should come prepared with the results of their tests and be ready to have a meaningful conversation about what needs to be done next.
“This might result in attending structured education, trying new medication or being referred to a slimming club. It’s about giving people the right information and ability to access help when they need it.”
Baroness Young said: “We need to get the message across to the NHS that if people with diabetes do not have personalised care planning at the moment, then this needs to be rectified urgently and in some cases this will need to be built into the development of diabetes services.”