Diabetes care improving in parts of UK, but less so for type 1 diabetics

by Barbara Hewitt on February 6, 2017

More people in parts of the UK are benefitting from improved diabetes care, but the level is still dependant on where they live, according to a new report.

Overall diabetes care in England and Wales has improved in the last six years for three key targets with people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes meeting targets more often for blood pressure, blood glucose control and cholesterol.

Diabetes TreatmentBut the National Diabetes Audit 2015/2016 published by the National Health Service (NHS) in partnership with charity Diabetes UK, also found that there is still some variation in care depending on where people live in England and Wales.

For example, the percentage of patients with type 1 diabetes achieving NICE recommended treatment targets for glucose control, blood pressure and cholesterol varied from 11% to 34%, depending on location.

In general, more patients with type 2 diabetes achieve treatment targets, but again there is a considerable variation from 33% to 49% depending on where they live.

‘Achieving treatment targets is central to staying healthy with diabetes. GP and specialist services need to work together and all aim for the level of the best. Everyone with diabetes should be confident they are getting high quality care,’ said Dr Bob Young, a consultant diabetologist and clinical lead for the audit.

He pointed out that the last six years have seen improvements nationally in achievement of all three treatment targets, an increase of 1.6% for type 1 diabetes and 5.1% for type 2 diabetes.

The audit found that older people are more likely than younger ones to achieve all three treatment targets. The difference for those with type 2 diabetes is greater with 46% of people aged 65 to 79 achieving all three treatment targets compared with 27% of people aged under 40, than for those with type 1 diabetes which was 24% of people aged 65 to 79 and 18% for those aged under 40.

It would appear that those with type 2 diabetes are seeing more improved. The audit shows that people with type 2 diabetes are more likely to achieve all three treatment targets at 40% of compared with only 18% of those with type 1 diabetes.

And the percentage of people with type 1 diabetes receiving all eight NICE recommended care processes has fallen from 45% in 2013/2014 to 37% in 2015/2016. For people with type 2 diabetes, the decline is greater from 68% to 54%.

On a positive front, the percentage of people diagnosed with diabetes that have been offered structured education within one year of diagnosis has increased markedly from 10% in 2009 to 82% in 2014 for those with type 2 diabetes and from 5% to 39% for those with type 1 diabetes.

‘Achieving treatment targets is absolutely vital when it comes to staying healthy with diabetes as doing so helps people reduce their risk of developing serious and life threatening complications such as amputation, blindness, heart disease, stroke and kidney disease,’ said Chris Askew, chief executive of Diabetes UK.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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