Almost a million patients with diabetes are not receiving the necessary NHS care, according to a new audit.
Some patients are missing out on vital checks on their body mass index (BMI), blood sugar and cholesterol levels, as well as foot and eye examinations.
The problem affects 60% of the number diagnosed with the disease - some 852,000 people in England.
This includes people with Type 1 diabetes, usually diagnosed in childhood, as well as Type 2, which is linked to unhealthy lifestyles and obesity.
In addition, up to a million more people in England are thought to be unaware that they have Type 2.
The NHS Information Centre report, which examined care offered by GP practices and hospitals in 2007/08, found that people with Type 1 diabetes generally fared worse across key areas of care than those with Type 2.
The authors are concerned with ‘striking’ differences in rates of complications between regions, including up to a twofold difference for kidney failure treatments and rates of amputation.
Between some primary care trusts there was a two-fold difference in rates of heart and kidney failure and heart attacks, as well as fivefold difference when it came to stroke and amputation.
Is diabetes care adequate?