According to Diabetes UK’s State of the Nation 2012 report, failure to provide diagnostic services is leading to an epidemic of preventable complications.
Despite the range and quality of diabetes medications available, their impact is blunted by inadequate prescription and dosage control.
The existing National Service Framework for diabetes is far from being realised, according to the report, and 40% of patients (including 85% of children and young adults) are not well-controlled.
Under 50% of people with diabetes are receiving the tests recommended by NICE – and as a result, receiving the correct types and levels of medication.
Diabetes care costs 10% of the NHS budget, and 80% of that is spent on treating complications that correct medication could prevent.
The report calls for an urgent strategy of early diagnosis and risk assessment to match treatment to patient needs, combined with better patient education.
Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “The wide variation in standards of care shows the need for a national plan to be put in place. By taking the longer-term approach of investing in making sure people get the basic checks and services, we could save money by reducing the number of complications.”