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Diabetes 'overlooked' by new NHS organisations

Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) risk overlooking the need to improve diabetes care in their local area,  according to a report released late last week. 

In a review of 50 HWBs, many did not recognise the “priority and impact of the condition” the Diabetes UK report claims. 

Only 54% of the boards included information on the importance of the NHS Health Check for preventing type 2 diabetes in their Joint Strategic Needs Assessment. 

According to the charity, the inclusion of NHS Health Check would help to reach 850,000 people who have the condition but are undiagnosed. 

A Diabetes UK spokesperson said: “We want to see NHS England and the local Health and Wellbeing Boards use their influence to halt the continuing rise of diabetes and address the inadequate state of diabetes care. 

“The expensive complications of diabetes will continue to be an increasing drain on the NHS both locally and nationally unless diabetes care is effectively prioritised.” 

Half of the HWBs mentioned the need to improve the management of diabetes in their Joint Health and Wellbeing strategies, which set out their health priorities. 

Yet just over half (54%) of the 3 million people living with diabetes in the UK are getting the nine National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommended checks they need to manage their condition.

Diabetes UK claims this is one of the main reasons for the high rates of diabetes-related complications such as kidney failure and stroke, which are personally devastating and expensive to treat.