Survey shows care for diabetics did not improve in the UK in 2012

by Barbara Hewitt on January 4, 2013

Survey shows care for diabetics did not improve in the UK in 2012

The UK has seen almost no improvement to healthcare for diabetics in the last 12 months with many not receiving basic levels of care, according to a new survey. Diabetes UK has branded 2012 a ‘lost year’ for diabetes healthcare after its survey found that 85% of respondents said that their healthcare had either stayed the same or worsened over the last year, while just 11% said it had improved.

The charity said it is disappointed by this lack of improvement, given that there is now widespread agreement from organisations such as the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee that diabetes healthcare is not good enough. It added that this failure to deliver significant improvements means 2012 has been a missed opportunity to reduce the risk of complications of diabetes, and ultimately to reduce the number of people with the condition who die early.

There was some good news in the survey, with 79% of respondents saying they had had a leg and foot check in the past year, which represents a rise of 4% compared with 2011. However, there were also small, but not statistically significant, decreases in the number of people having an individualised care plan developed with their healthcare professional or seeing someone from a diabetes specialist team when they were admitted to hospital.

Quote from DiabetesForum.com : “I’m type 2 on Metformin SR 2 tabs a day – not happy about it as I’ve lost loads of weight 3 stone to be precise but it still wasnt enough.”

‘A year ago, the Department of Health responded to criticism of diabetes healthcare by telling the NHS to improve the service it is offering people with the condition. But this survey shows that people with diabetes are not noticing things getting better, and this means 2012 has been a lost year and a missed opportunity to make the kind of changes that are so badly needed’ said Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK.

‘The fact that so many people are not getting a basic level of care is really worrying, as this care is vital for ensuring people with diabetes have the best chance of living a long and healthy life. Every year that someone receives substandard healthcare could increase their risk of developing devastating health complications such as heart disease, stroke, amputations, kidney failure and blindness’ she explained.

‘It is true that there are some positive signs in this survey, such as the increase in the proportion of people getting an annual foot check, which can help prevent amputations by identifying problems at an early stage. But looked at as a whole, it is clear that we are still a long way from consistently delivering good quality, integrated healthcare,’ she added.

Barbara Young is calling for the government to make diabetes a national priority with the aim of making 2013 the year when people with diabetes really start to notice their healthcare improving.  ‘It is only by doing this that we will finally start to see the tragically high levels of diabetes related complications and early death rates start to fall,’ said Young.


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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