Four in five adults with diabetes lack access to specialist psychological support, according to a charity report.
The ‘Minding the gap’ report by Diabetes UK found only 10% of diabetes services use any screening and assessment tools for psychological problems.
The report found only a quarter of diabetes services in the UK are able to supply the contact details for people who provide specialist psychological care.
Diabetes UK says that 25% of diabetes services failed to comply with any of the psychologically relevant National Service Framework (NSF) standards and NICE guidance recommendations.
People with diabetes are twice as likely to have depression than those without the condition. Eating disorders and needle phobias lead to poor diabetes self-care and subsequent medical complications such as blindness, heart disease and kidney failure.
Bridget Turner, head of healthcare at Diabetes UK, said: ‘Living with diabetes can be challenging and the emotional stress of having to deal with this complex condition on a daily basis means specialist psychological services are crucial.’
Diabetes UK is calling for better organisation of psychological services and specialist training of diabetes healthcare professionals.
The charity says the Government needs to address waiting times for psychological care. The report showed only 28% of services can see routine patients within one month of referral.