Thousands of people with diabetes in the England are dying unnecessarily each year because they are not receiving the basic care and support they need, according to a group of MPs.
A new report by the Public Accounts Committee has hit out at the poor standard of diabetes care within the NHS, which it claims is responsible for at least 24,000 diabetic deaths a year.
The highly critical report discovered that the NHS spends nearly £4 billion each year on diabetes services, but an alarming 80 per cent of this is spent on treating preventable complications such as blindness, amputation and kidney disease.
It also reveals that less than half of diabetic patients receive the recommended levels of care, including nine basic checks which reduce the risk of potentially life-threatening complications, and that the performance of eleven primary care trusts worsened between 2006-2010.
In addition, it claim there is no strong national leadership of diabetes services, no poor performance accountability for NHS commissioners and no performance incentives for care providers.
The MPs conclude that progress in delivering the recommended standards of care for diabetes patients has been “depressingly poor”, and warn that the NHS will face “ever-increasing costs” unless care improves significantly.
Margaret Hodge, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, said: “Fewer than one in five people with diabetes have the recommended levels of blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol, leaving an unacceptably high number at risk of developing complications, being admitted to hospital and costing the NHS more money.”

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