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Worrying figures for older diabetics

15 November 2010

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Hospitals admit a diabetic from a care home every 25 minutes, figures have shown.

A Diabetics UK report found there are more than 22,000 admissions each year among older diabetics from care homes, working out to one every 25 minutes on average.

The admissions rate is being fuelled by care homes failing to screen people for diabetes when they enter, along with a lack of training in how to control symptoms for care home staff.

Six out of 10 care homes with diabetic residents do not provide training to staff on the condition, the charity’s report, Diabetes in Care Homes – Awareness, Screening, Training, found.

Less than one in four (23%) screened residents for diabetes upon admission to care homes and only 28% carried out annual check-ups for the condition.

This is despite a huge number of people being undiagnosed with diabetes, which can cause complications such as kidney failure, heart disease, stroke and sight loss.

Missed screening means as many as 13,500 care home residents could have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes, the report said.

Diabetes UK chief executive, Barbara Young, said: “These report findings are an indictment of the standards of diabetes care provided by a worrying number of our country’s care homes.

“We estimate as many as a quarter of care home residents in England, around 56,000, have diabetes.

“To discover, therefore, that many homes fail to provide any training to their staff or screen for this common yet serious condition is truly alarming.”

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Diabetes UK

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

“The figures on admissions for diabetics from care homes does not surprise me. The cost of providing a comprehensive screening and annual review of all diabetics can be substantial, but the owners of some privately run care homes do not want to reimburse health care professionals for this essential service. The onus should be on the care home owner’s to ensure that residents are given the approriate level of healthcare, after all they are human beings” – Anne, West Midlands