Spotlighting diabetes

Diabetes is serious. If left untreated, it can lead to heart disease, stroke, blindness, and kidney failure.

The report from Diabetes UK, 'Key Statistics on Diabetes 2011 to 2012', states that 'most health experts agree that the UK is facing a huge increase in the number of people with diabetes. Since 1996 the number of people diagnosed with diabetes has increased from 1.4 million to 2.9 million. By 2025, it is estimated that five million people will have diabetes. Most of these cases will be type 2 diabetes, because of our ageing population and rapidly rising numbers of overweight and obese people'.

Financial costs

It is currently estimated that ten percent of the NHS budget is spent on diabetes. This works out at around £9 billion a year (with a 2007 to 2008 budget for the NHS of approximately £90.7 billion). Or:

  • £173 million a week
  • £25 million a day
  • £1 million an hour
  • £17,000 a minute
  • £286 a second

The figures are alarming and confirm that diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing the United Kingdom today. If we are to curb this growing health crisis and see a reduction in the number of people dying from diabetes and its complications, we need to increase awareness of the risks, bring about wholesale changes in lifestyle, improve self-management among people with diabetes and improve access to integrated diabetes care services.

By working together to increase awareness and provide appropriate education for anyone involved in diabetes care we can improve quality of life for those with diabetes.

Useful information

Diabetes UK is a very popular website with a really wide range of information, including all the latest like iPhone tracker apps, online shopping, and celebrity supporters.

NHS Choices has online forums, an online clinic, self assessment tests a search engine for services in your area, to highlight just a few of its features.

This is a Diabetes UK report commenting on the state of diabetes care in residential settings, it makes a number of recommendations for improvement for both commissioners and care settings. For example "all care home managers should put into place appropriate diabetes-specific training for all staff involved in the care of residents with the condition". The Care Quality Commission (CQC) should ensure that diabetes specific training is part of its registration requirements, and should audit this as part of the inspection process.

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