A new report shows that almost 24,000 diabetes related deaths in England could be avoided with better NHS care.
With proper management diabetes can be kept under control
The NHS Information Centre carried out the first ever audit of diabetes by comparing information about sufferers in England with data from death records.
Their report revealed that in 2008/9 75,000 deaths occurred in people with diabetes, but 24,000 of these deaths were classed as avoidable.
Diabetes is a condition in which the body cannot use glucose properly, meaning that without proper management sufferers can develop potentially fatal complications like heart or kidney failure. There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2.
The report found that patients with Type 1 diabetes were 2.6 times more likely to die than the general population, and 1.6 times more likely with Type 2. The National Diabetes Information Service said these numbers are rising.
Whilst diabetes is potentially life threatening, with proper management the condition can be kept under control. Better care includes basic health checks from doctors, patients taking their medication, and patients keeping to a healthy diet.
Currently, only half of patients with type 2 diabetes routinely have essential health checks and less than a third of those with type 1. There are 15 tests, nine of which are available on the NHS, including blood sugar, cholesterol and eye and limb examinations.
Barbara Young, Diabetes UK chief executive, said: "We know that half of people with Type 2 and more than two thirds of people with Type 1 diabetes are not receiving the care they need to stay healthy.”
"We will be holding the NHS to account wherever it fails to deliver high-quality care."
Private medical insurers view diabetes as a chronic condition, and consequently may not provide cover for it. See our page on chronic conditions for more information, or compare health insurance quotes online now.
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