Health bosses need to ensure people with diabetes have access to self-management education to avoid the condition’s possible complications and a “looming NHS crises”, a leading researcher in diabetes education has said.
Dr Marian Carey, of the Leicester Diabetes Centre (LDC), made the comments in response to new figures published in June by Diabetes UK that showed the number of people with diabetes in the UK having reached an all-time high of 3.9 million, primarily due to a rise in Type 2 diabetes. The charity has said the NHS needs to ensure people have access to education to enable them to manage the condition well to avoid devastating health complications.
Dr Carey helped found DESMOND, the NHS education course for Type 2 diabetes, and is the Director of the Structured Education Research Portfolio at the LDC. She says, “With diabetes prevalence continuing to rise, the NHS faces a major challenge. Self-management education programmes that meet the national quality standards are a proven way of supporting people to self-care in diabetes. We believe this kind of diabetes education is key to preventing this looming NHS crisis and the misery of the complications of the condition. People with diabetes have a demanding condition to manage, yet on average they get to share this with a healthcare professional for only an hour a year. One hour of support out of a total of 8,766 hours in a year, jhat’s 525,900 minutes that a person has to draw on their own resources to manage their condition. They get just one hour to help them manage a condition which, if neglected, could lead to dreadful health complications.”
In March, a report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes found poor delivery of diabetes education was leading to devastating complications and huge costs to the NHS. The report titled ‘Taking control: Supporting people with diabetes’ also found only 16 per cent of people newly diagnosed with diabetes are offered access to a formal course.
DESMOND is an NHS programme which teaches people with Type 2 diabetes how to manage their condition and is delivered by more than 90 NHS trusts.
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