Monday, 8 September 2008

NHS Fails to Diagnose 500 000 Brits with Diabetes

Half a million Brits are unaware that they are living with Type 2 diabetes, due to the failure of the NHS, claims a new study.

According to the charity Diabetes UK more than 500, 000 people in England are unknowingly living with Type 2 diabetes- leaving them at risk of heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and amputations.

The research claims that NHS services in England are failing to diagnose the condition which can go undetected up to a staggering 12 years.

Unfortunately the quality and quantity for diagnosis of type 2 diabetes across the UK is not equal, with some regions across the UK receiving better diagnoses than others, says the study. For example figures reveal that there is around 100 percent diagnosis for the people of Birmingham and just 50 percent for those in London- with regions including Kensington, Chelsea, Westminster and Camden having the worse detection rates.

“Some PCTs (Primary Care Trusts) have done an excellent job in diagnosing Type 2 diabetes,” says Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK.

“It is extremely worrying that hundreds of thousands of people in other areas are going about their daily lives unaware they have a condition that puts them at greater risk of devastating complications.”

Smallwood adds that early identification is key for those with Type 2 diabetes but unfortunately by the time half a million Brits are finally diagnosed with having the condition, most will already show signs of complications.

The Department of Health National Service Framework for Diabetes made it a priority to improve Type 2 diabetes diagnosis in England back in 2001. However the charity believes barely a dent has been made in the detection process of type 2 diabetes. What’s more 1 in 3 PCTs do not even have a specific strategy for preventing the condition.

The charity is warning specialists that all communities must be examined for Type 2 diabetes, especially those in deprived communities who are 2.5 times more likely to have diabetes. Those who do not have regular access to health services must also be reached by the VRAM programme- responsible for Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

Those at risk of diabetes are those with a large waist, people aged over 40 (or over 25 for people of Black or South Asian origin), those who are overweight and lastly individuals with a family history of the condition.

For more information on diabetes go to: Information on Diabetes

article here