Younger people with diabetes, aged under 40, are less likely to receive all the annual health checks they need to keep their condition under control, according to the latest National Diabetes Audit published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).
Based on data from 1.9 million people in England and Wales with diabetes, the audit revealed that, among those under 40, just 27.3 per cent with type 1 diabetes and 40.8 per cent with type 2 diabetes are receiving the eight care processes that NICE says they should get.
These recommended checks can help prevent people with diabetes from suffering from preventable complications such as amputation, kidney failure and heart disease, as well as ensuring they’re receiving appropriate care and support for managing their condition.
Chris Askew, chief executive of Diabetes UK, commented: “It is deeply worrying that such a low percentage of younger people with diabetes are receiving all eight of the vital care processes. With this reflecting patterns of previous years, urgent action must be taken to ensure younger people too are given the best chances of good health and don’t continue to be left behind.
We know that young people may struggle to fit in getting the checks with work and a busy life. But it is vital that commissioners look at ways to enable more young people to have better access to the healthcare services that will help them to manage their diabetes on a day-to-day basis.”
Commenting on the need for a greater sense of urgency when it comes to diabetes care, he added: “We want to work with Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS England to address the major problems in diabetes and turn 2016 into a year where local healthcare teams are given the support to really make a difference to people living with diabetes so that they do not continue to suffer the very serious complications of poorly managed diabetes.”