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Experts call for more podiatrists to improve NHS diabetes care

Friday 30th October 2015
After a number of instances where care has fallen short, experts have called for a systematic review of diabetes care in the NHS. Image Credit: pixdeluxe
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Leading experts have called for a "systematic review" of the NHS in terms of the diabetes care it offers.

Leading charity InDependent Diabetes Trust (IDDT) has published a new report, which found that nearly 40 per cent of people with diabetes believe healthcare has worsened since 2010, when £1.1 billion worth of reforms were made.

The document makes a number of key recommendations, which will improve care for the 3.2 million diabetics in the UK, including calling for more NHS podiatrists. It also states that all patients should receive the key health checks, and plans should be put into place to improve care for older people in nursing homes with diabetes.

According to the report, which interviewed more than 15,000 people with the condition, nearly half of all respondents feel the NHS has fallen in standards and many claimed that they were not given appropriate advice and information about diet and exercise when they were diagnosed.

Around a third (32 per cent) said their GP or practice nurse did not know enough about their condition, highlighting the importance of being able to access podiatrists and other diabetes specialists.

In light of its findings, the IDDT sent a letter to health secretary Jeremy Hunt calling for fundamental changes to be made in how care is delivered, which should involve prioritising the care of those living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Speaking about the findings, Professor Melanie Davies, from the University of Leicester and co-director of the Leicester Diabetes Centre, highlighted a number of systematic failures in the health service, saying that the NHS faces a number of key challenges as diabetes continues to affect more people.

She added: “Self-management education programmes that meet the national quality standard are a proven way of supporting people to self-care in diabetes. We believe this kind of fully-evidence diabetes education is key to preventing this looming NHS crisis and the misery of the complications of the condition."

Professor Davies highlighted the importance of having access to appropriate services like podiatry and eyesight care but said people are being let down by being "denied access to education".

Written by Angela Newbury

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