Backlog in diabetes care putting lives at risk

Diabetes UK has warned that thousands of diabetes-sufferers’ lives are being put at risk due to a backlog in care caused by the pandemic.

Urging the government to get services back on track before lives are ‘needlessly lost’, the charity’s survey of more than 10,000 people shows that almost half of people with diabetes had difficulties managing their condition last year.

Over 60 per cent of patients attributed this partly to a lack of access to healthcare, which can prevent serious illness and early mortality from the cardiovascular complications of diabetes, rising to 71 per cent in the most deprived areas of the country. Furthermore, one in three had no contact with healthcare professionals about their diabetes in 2021, while one in six have still not had contact since before the coronavirus pandemic.

Chris Askew, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “If people with diabetes cannot receive the care they need, they can risk devastating, life-altering complications and, sadly, early death. We know the NHS has worked tirelessly to keep us safe throughout the pandemic, but the impacts on care for people living with diabetes have been vast.

“While the UK government has been focused on cutting waiting lists for operations and other planned care, people with diabetes have been pushed to the back of the queue. Urgent action is now required, which is why we’re calling on UK government to implement a recovery plan for diabetes care. “We need to get this essential, life-saving care back on track, or lives will be needlessly lost.”

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