Many people with diabetes are not receiving effective care despite having greater access to healthcare services, latest figures have revealed.
Data from the 2008-09 national diabetes audit, published today by the NHS Information Centre, shows that more than 90 per cent of people with diabetes in England and Wales are in contact with their healthcare teams at least once a year.
But blood sugar and blood pressure treatment targets are not being met and the number of people developing end stage renal disease has almost doubled in six years.
The audit reveals that blood pressure targets were not met in more than half of patients with diabetes, more than a third had poor blood sugar control, and a third did not have a vital urine test to identify early signs of diabetic kidney disease.
These are three of the nine key care processes that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommends should be received by all patients with diabetes.
According to the audit results only a third of people with type 1 diabetes, and just half of those with type 2, received all nine.
The situation was worst among young people. Of those aged 16 to 39, just 20 per cent with type 1 diabetes and 35 per cent with type 2 received all the tests.
The audit also revealed that the overall prevalence of diabetes has increased by 25 per cent over the past six years and more than 50 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes are now obese.
Diabetes UK policy manager Gavin Terry said there is “little good news” from the audit.
“Well over two thirds of people with type 1 diabetes and half of people with type 2 diabetes in England and Wales are missing out on checks that in real terms translate into saving a person’s sight, preventing limb amputation and extending life expectancy through the prevention of kidney failure, stroke and heart disease,” he said. “More worrying is that these figures are worse for young people.”
Consultant diabetologist and clinical lead for the audit Dr Bob Young said that while improvements have been made in diabetes care “there is still much work to be done to best address a condition which is affecting more and more people every year”.