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Diabetes care provision risks becoming ‘unsustainable’

A more personalised approach to care is needed in order to successfully manage the challenges of diabetes treatment, the CQC has said.

A new report by the CQC, ‘My Diabetes, My Care’, says: “The current model of care provision will become unsustainable as the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes continues to rise.”

CQC research found that although patients reported good standards of diabetes care overall, they reported that the care was not personalised, with difficulties fitting appointments around their lives and understanding their diagnoses and a lack of emotional support and personal care plans.

David Behan, chief executive of the CQC, said: “Our review highlights some great examples of community diabetes care. But it also shows that more work is needed to ensure that everyone who lives with diabetes can access the right level of personalised care and support to help them manage their condition.

“We have seen the positive health and financial outcomes that can be achieved when people are empowered to take control and successfully supported to self-manage – and I encourage providers and commissioners to use the findings of this review in order to learn from what is working well.”

The CQC warned that the current approach makes it harder for patients to self-manage their treatment.

Andy Broomhead, 35, from Sheffield, said that when he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes after leaving university, he was “bombarded with information”.

“It was overwhelming, and I also had to get used to the idea of having to inject myself – something that caused me a lot of apprehension,” he said. “I went home with too many pamphlets. I would have been much better to have someone there to walk you through the first few weeks after diagnosis.”

In addition, the CQC found that NHS organisations are failing to reach out to people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

There were few education programmes aimed at ethnic minority communities or people with learning disabilities, and adult social care staff showed a lack of understanding of the condition.

It warned that in the long term, failure to tackle diabetes would create more expense for the NHS.

Behan added that improved handling of diabetes is “crucial” for delivering the Five Year Forward View.

Nearly 3.5 million in the UK have diabetes, and the condition takes up 10% of the NHS budget. The number is due to rise to 4.6 million by 2030.

The cost of diabetes drugs to the NHS increased by 86.1% in the past decade, and the number of beds occupied by patients with diabetes has increased from 14.6% to 16.8% in five years.

The CQC said that health and social care commissioners, providers and professionals should develop local plans for tackling diabetes in order to embed concerns such as emotional support, education and using technology to manage the condition.

It said it will also review its approach to diabetes before carrying out its next stage of primary care inspections and identify and share examples of good diabetes care.

Chris Askew, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “We want to see CCGs do far more to enable commissioners and healthcare professionals to promote the importance of education for people with the condition and for them to develop more flexible education programmes to help put people with diabetes firmly at the centre of their care.

“Only then will we see a reduction in costly complications, an end to avoidable suffering and early deaths.”

NHS England has now launched a Diabetes Prevention Programme to try to tackle the disease.

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