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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 March 2007, 00:38 GMT
NHS urged to boost diabetes care
Pinprick test
People with diabetes are now more likely to be diagnosed
More people are being diagnosed with diabetes, but the NHS has to do more to meet the challenge of treating them, the government has said.

The assessment by the Department of Health reveals how the Health Service has fared with implementing 2003 guidelines on the disease.

It says the NHS must be able to help the 100,000 people who were diagnosed with diabetes in the last year.

Experts said the report accurately reflected current conditions.

Complications risk

There are estimated to be a "missing million" people with diabetes who have not been diagnosed.

The report, assessing the success in implementing the National Service Framework on diabetes, praises the NHS in England for picking up the 100,000 cases.

There are still many gaps
Douglas Smallwood, Diabetes UK

And, while it cites examples of good treatment in the NHS - such as a weight management programmes in Cleveland and screening programme targeted at vulnerable communities in Bradford - it says more could be done.

A second report, published by the Insulin Pumps Working Group, says more should be done to make available the pumps, which infuse the hormone into the layer of tissue just beneath the skin.

In 2003, the National Institute for health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommended the pumps should be available to those people with Type 1 diabetes for whom they are suitable.

Health minister Rosie Winterton said: "With GPs identifying more people with diabetes, patients are now getting the care, advice and support to enable them to manage their condition more effectively, and reduce the risk of the complications associated with diabetes, such as heart disease.

"But as more people are diagnosed with diabetes, the NHS must step up to the challenge of continuing to provide high quality services that are convenient for patients.

"The NSF Progress Report demonstrates that excellent work is already under way and I would urge PCTs to look at how they can best provide services for people with diabetes in their local area."

'Grasp opportunities'

Dr Sue Roberts, National Clinical Director for Diabetes, said: "Although we can be justly proud of what has been achieved, we must also recognise that there is still much to be done before everyone in England receives diabetes services the NHS can be truly proud of."

Douglas Smallwood, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: "The NSF report quite accurately reflects that diagnosis of diabetes is improving, that people with the condition are receiving better services and that there is more information than ever before on the care that people are receiving."

But he added: "It pulls no punches in acknowledging that there are still many gaps in service provision and that much more needs to be done until we meet all the NSF standards.

"The challenge is for the NHS to grasp the opportunities provided by commissioning and other changes to deliver a truly patient focused service."

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24 Jan 07 |  Health
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14 Nov 06 |  Health

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