Improved diabetes access not matched by better outcomes

Greater access to health services for people with diabetes is not translating into improved clinical outcomes, NHS Information Centre data show.

Improved diabetes access is not resulting in better treatment targets
Improved diabetes access is not resulting in better treatment targets

Latest figures from the National Diabetes Audit show there has been an increase in the number of people receiving all nine of the key processes of diabetes care recommended by NICE.

This has risen to 32% for people with type-1 diabetes and 51% for those with type-2 diabetes.

However, blood sugar and BP treatment targets are not being met and the number of people developing end-stage renal disease has almost doubled in six years. 

The Information Centre said that many opportunities were being missed to detect kidney disease early and reduce its progression, due to the low rates of urine creatinine testing and BP control.

Prevalence of complications is also rising as the number of cases of diabetes increases. Appreciable levels of complications are known to appear 10-20 years after the condition is first diagnosed, the audit report notes.

Diabetes UK said there was ‘little good news' from the latest audit. Policy manager Gavin Terry said people were missing out on checks that could translate into saving a person's sight, preventing limb amputation and extending life expectancy. ‘More worrying is that these figures are worse for young people,' he said.

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