PIF member Diabetes UK is calling for a recovery plan to tackle 'devastating’ diabetes care delays before it is too late.  

It says, despite the tireless efforts of the NHS through the pandemic, many people living with diabetes are still struggling to access the care they need.

This puts them at risk of serious complications, which can lead to premature death.  

A new report, published on 20 April as part of the Diabetes Is Serious campaign, shows the scale of the problem and sets out a series of calls to UK Government to tackle it.    

Informed by a survey of more than 10,000 people living with and affected by diabetes, it showed:

  • Almost half (47%) experienced difficulties managing their condition in 2021
  • Almost two thirds (63%) attributed this in part to not having sufficient access to their healthcare team
  • This rose to 71% in the most deprived areas of the country
  • One in six reported no contact with their healthcare team whatsoever since before the pandemic

The survey also revealed stark health inequalities. 

People from the most deprived areas of the country were more likely to have experienced difficulties managing their diabetes.

Fifty-six per cent of people in the most deprived areas said they had experienced problems compared to 44% in the least deprived.

Call for action

Diabetes UK has called for the following action:

  • A recovery plan from UK Government specifically addressing the challenges facing diabetes services so people can access the vital support they need
  • A renewed commitment to improving outcomes for people with, and at risk of, diabetes in the forthcoming refresh of the NHS Long Term Plan
  • A cross-government strategy to tackle health inequalities in the upcoming White Paper on Health Disparities

The report also calls for Integrated Care Systems to urgently draw up plans to catch up on the backlog of diabetes care.

The aim is to ensure everyone with diabetes has had a review of the key care processes and their care plan by the end of 2022.  

Click here to read the Diabetes is Serious 2022 report Recovering diabetes care: preventing the mounting crisis.