London: Following a series of simple health steps could be a key to avoiding potentially life-threatening consequences of diabetes, say experts.
The fresh advice came as part of a damning report warning that the country has drifted into a “state of crisis” in which fewer than half of sufferers get the minimum care they need.
The state of the nation 2012 report by Diabetes UK has highlighted 15 key checks, essential to staving off devastating and sometimes deadly consequences of the condition, the Daily Express reported.
Nine of the checks are recommended by the health watchdog, the national institute of Health and Clinical excellence.
They are regular blood sugar measurement, cholesterol checks, blood pressure checks, measurements of weight, smoking status, eye examinations, foot and leg checks for possible diabetic complications and analysis of kidney function in both urine and blood.
But Diabetes UK says these are just the basic checks needed and have come up with “15 Healthcare essentials” it says every patient should receive.
The report has revealed there are some areas in England where just six per cent of people with diabetes are getting the regular checks and services recommended by nice.
This has helped fuel a rise in complications such as amputation, blindness, kidney failure and stroke.
These account for about 80 per cent of NHS spending on diabetes, which is almost 10billion pounds – or 1million pound per hour.
“Every person with diabetes has a right to the basic levels of care. We know what needs to happen as it is spelled out in our 15 Healthcare essentials...this would make a huge difference to the prospects for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes,” said Bridget Turner, head of policy for Diabetes UK.
“As well as more support, we need to raise awareness that being overweight, physically inactive and being black or of south Asian origin are all risk factors for type 2,” Turner added.
There are at least 3.7 million people with diabetes in the UK, but just 49.8 per cent get the checks and services recommended by nice.
Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “This report shows that diabetes healthcare has drifted into a state of crisis.”