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Two thirds of young diabetics miss “vitally important” checks

28 January 2016

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Less than a third of young people with type 1 diabetes are receiving all eight care processes that National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says they should get, a new audit has revealed.

Just 27% of those under 40 with type 1 diabetes are receiving all of the checks, while 41% of this same age group with type 2 diabetes are receiving them, according to the National Diabetes Audit, released today.

The Audit used data compiled from 1.9 million people in England and Wales with diabetes and was published today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

Diabetes UK said this is “very worrying” as the checks are “vitally important” and can help prevent people with diabetes suffering from devastating but preventable complications such as amputation, kidney failure and heart disease.

Chris Askew, chief executive of the charity, commented: “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,” he added.

On a positive note, the report showed that there was significant improvement in the number of patients achieving target blood pressure levels, which can help to reduce the risks of cardiovascular complications.

“However, while we are pleased to see a small rise in take-up for some of the key tests across all age groups, such as blood pressure, cholesterol and HbA1c, we have also seen an 8% drop in the number of people with type 1 diabetes getting their urine albumin test and a drop of 10% for type 2 diabetes receiving this test.

“Not getting this check means people are less likely to find out they have kidney damage until it has already developed into an extremely serious health issue,” Askew warned.

The charity are looking to work with NHS England and clinical commissioners to support local healthcare teams to give the checks and avoid “the very serious complications of poorly managed diabetes”.

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