Most people with diabetes in England and Wales are failing to control their condition properly, new research has revealed.
Figures released by Diabetes UK show that only one in five people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes meets the recommended targets for blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
For people with type 1 diabetes, the situation is even worse, with just 11.4 per cent of people with this lifelong condition meeting the targets for controlling their diabetes and preventing the development of related complications, such as heart disease and stroke.
To address the alarming situation, the charity has called for a large increase in the number of people with diabetes who receive the nine annual health checks recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). Currently just over half (54%) of diabetic patients in England get all nine checks .
It also wants the government to hold poor performing areas (those where 20% or less of people with diabetes are getting the checks) to account, and the delivery of structured education and care planning to encourage and improve self-management of the disease.
Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “Given that diabetes is serious and can lead to early death if not supported to manage their condition, it is extremely worrying that so few people have it under control.
“The high rate of preventable complications is the inevitable consequence of a healthcare system that has all too often not been good enough, and this highlights the need for local services to put in place self-management support programmes to help people manage their diabetes well.
“It is time to break the cycle of poor diabetes management and poor health outcomes. We need local services to take this seriously and to put in place the care that all people with diabetes deserve and we need the Government to finally make diabetes a priority and insist that everyone with the condition gets good quality healthcare.”

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