Care plans should replace traditional diabetes care to save more lives, says charity

Personalised care planning 'should replace traditional diabetes care', Diabetes UK has urged, as it warns that the current poor state of diabetes care is 'costing lives and money'.

Pic: Jason Heath Lancy
Pic: Jason Heath Lancy

England is currently facing record rates of complications, avoidable deaths and high costs due to poor diabetes care, the charity has said in its annual State of the Nation report.

It claims that 40% of patients are not receiving the NICE-recommended checks they need to help them effectively manage their condition, which marks ‘very little’ improvement from last year. 

The report strongly advocates greater use of personalised care plans, which it said should ‘replace traditional care for people with diabetes’.

CCGs were called on to provide more training to aid healthcare professionals in care planning and incentivise attendance through an enhanced service payment.

GP role

As part of their role, GPs are encouraged to support patients in losing weight, monitor their progress and help them give up smoking.

CCGs should ‘commission a range of services and programmes to help people with diabetes to manage their weight’ as part of this, the charity said.

GPs should also ensure that patients attend their annual retinal screening appointments, and this should be integrated more into overall diabetes care.

For those considered to be at high risk of developing the disease, the charity has called on NHS England to ‘mandate appropriate follow up and management’ of patients identified as being at high risk of type 2 diabetes as part of the next GP contract.

Patients must get checks

Barbara Young, Diabetes UK chief executive, said: ‘This is not a question of spending more money. In fact, better ongoing standards of care will save money and reduce pressure on NHS resources. 

‘It’s about people getting the checks they need at their GP surgery and giving people the support and education they need to be able to manage their own condition. Doing this, together with improving diabetes care in hospital, would give people with diabetes a better chance of a long and healthy life, and save the NHS a significant amount of money.’

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