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Poor access to structured diabetes education across the UK

Data from the National Diabetes Audit shows that less than 1 in 7 people newly diagnosed with diabetes are being offered the chance to attend a structured diabetes education course.
The analysis by charity Diabetes UK also shows that out of those newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, less than 3 in every 100 patients were offered the chance to go on a diabetes education course.
Structured diabetes education courses provide patients with a good, rounded understanding of diabetes and help people with diabetes get onto the right track early on following their diagnosis. The education courses can take away a lot of the confusion that is very often faced by patients after having been diagnosed with a complex condition, such as type 1 or type 2 diabetes, which affects and is affected by many different aspects of everyday life.
Diabetes education courses look at a wide overview of life with diabetes, taking in how to tackle adapting one’s diet to fit in with diabetes, how to effectively manage blood glucose testing, coping with illness and stress and, particularly in the case of courses for type 1 diabetes, how to accurately count carbohydrate in meals and adjust insulin doses.
The charity notes that limiting access to diabetes education based on cost is a short sighted strategy. Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, Barbara Young states: “Perhaps the most frustrating thing is that treating the complications of diabetes is so expensive that any short-term savings from not putting on these courses is outweighed by the huge cost of the consequences of people not being able to manage their condition.”
If you have not been offered the chance to attend a diabetes education course, ask your doctor or consultant if you can be referred onto a course in the near future.

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