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Diabetes education must be prioritised, expert urges

5 January 2016

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People with diabetes are being denied access to education that would help them manage their condition, due to commissioning inequality, and it has to stop, a diabetes expert has urged.

This comes after the charity found that the number of people living with diabetes in the UK has tipped over the four million mark for the first time.

Chris Askew (pictured), chief executive of Diabetes UK, said that “diabetes education needs to be readily available everywhere, and commissioned along with a proper local system that explains to people with diabetes the benefits they will gain from attending an education course, and ensures that courses are well run”.

The courses, which are provided free to patients, aim to help them feel more confident about looking after their condition, and reduce their chances of suffering from complications, such as foot amputation.

At the moment, diabetes education courses are not being commissioned for people in over a third of areas in England.

Askew said: “With a record number of people living with diabetes, there is no time to waste in getting serious about providing better care and diabetes education.

“Until this happens, the rising number of people with diabetes will continue to be denied the best chance of living long and healthy lives and the NHS will continue to be crippled under avoidable but escalating costs of treating poorly managed diabetes,” he added.