Diabetes UK calls for action as stats show just 34 per cent of those diagnosed in the North are receiving the care they need.

Diabetes UK are calling on NHS systems across the North of England to put diabetes at the heart of local health plans so people living with, and at risk of, diabetes get the care they need as the numbers of people living with the condition continues to rise.

The announcement, which coincides with Diabetes Week, comes after the charity recently revealed that thousands of people with diabetes are still struggling to access vital care with those from the most deprived areas of the country least likely to have access to the care they need.

In the North of England, there are now over 1 million people diagnosed with diabetes while just 34 per cent of people diagnosed with the condition in the region have received all eight of the recommended care checks in 2020/21.

A recent survey from the charity also showed that 48 per cent of people in the North East & Yorkshire said they had difficulties managing their condition during 2021.

People living in the most deprived areas of the region were more likely to have had difficulty with 56% in the most deprived compared to 43% in the least deprived and of those who experienced difficulties managing their diabetes. 67% in North East & Yorkshire attributed this in part to not having sufficient access to their healthcare team.

Clare Howarth, Head of the North of England at Diabetes UK said: “Diabetes can’t wait. Without access to essential care people with diabetes risk serious complications, such as amputation, stroke, heart disease, sight loss and mental health problems.

“These complications devastate lives and can even lead to early death, yet we know these are all avoidable if people receive the care and support they need and deserve.”

After the launch of Diabetes UK’s report into diabetes care published last month, the charity are also holding a free online event on Tuesday 21st June 2022 aimed bringing together healthcare professionals, people affected by diabetes and decision makers from across the North of England, to look at next steps for getting care in the region back on track.

Clare Howarth added: “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.

“Urgent action is now required, which is why we’re calling on the UK Government to prioritise the recovery of diabetes care and to recommit to improving outcomes for people with and at risk of diabetes in the updated NHS Long Term Plan. We’ll continue to press for a renewed focus on diabetes to get this essential, life-saving care back on track.”