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NHS failings leave thousands of diabetics undiagnosed

Thousands of people with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes in England are failing to be checked for the disease by the NHS, a new alarming report has revealed.
Charity group Diabetes UK found that the NHS Health Check programme failed to diagnose type 2 diabetes in 9,500 cases in the 2011/12 financial year as it was not properly implemented.
All people in the target age range of 40-74 across the country were supposed to have the important health check, which also tests for risk of diabetes-related complications such as heart disease, stroke and kidney failure.
But according to the Let’s Get it Right report, there were huge regional differences. In some areas such as Greenwich and Liverpool, thousands of people were checked during the 12-month period, while in three Primary Care Trust (PCT) areas, not a single person was tested.
As well as failing to diagnose diabetes cases at an early stage, and therefore reduce the risk of complications, the report also revealed there many cases of type 2 diabetes that could have been prevented by identifying people at high risk and offering them support to reduce their risk.
“The failure to deliver the NHS Health Check has potentially dire consequences for the state of diabetes care in this country,” Diabetes UK chief executive Barbara Young said.
“It is vital that people with type 2 diabetes are diagnosed as early as possible to reduce their risk of developing complications. We are concerned that the estimated 9,500 people who missed being diagnosed last year are at increased risk of amputation, blindness, kidney failure and stroke .”
Young added that the Government needs to ensure the NHS Health Check is properly implemented, and called for the introduction of a public awareness campaign so that people in between the ages of 40 and 74 “know they are entitled to a check and understand how important it can be for future health”.

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