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Patchy service offered to people with diabetes

In 2003, the National Service Framework (NSF) for Diabetes set out a vision for diabetes services in England to be delivered by 2013. However, while some people with diabetes in some parts of the country receive excellent care, many are still not benefiting from the effective delivery of diabetes services that the NSF set out to achieve.

Diabetes UK has found that patchy NHS services are putting almost 1.9 million people with diabetes in England at increased risk of serious complications including heart disease, stroke and blindness.

"We are very worried about the slow progress the NHS is making towards delivering all the NSF standards by 2013", said Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK.

"It is not good enough that almost two million people with diabetes are facing an unnecessarily increased risk of life-threatening complications because of the government's failure to address the quality of diabetes services across the country. Action is needed today to safeguard the health and quality of life of everyone with diabetes in the future.

"Diabetes UK is calling for the government to conduct its own national review of progress made to date in delivering the 2013 NSF standards and targets. There have been significant structural changes in the NHS in the past five years which need to be taken into account to ensure we have a relevant strategy in place to achieve these goals.

"The government also needs to make primary care trusts truly accountable for delivery of the NSF and challenge those not performing."

Diabetes UK

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"Every healthcare worker should be educated on how to manage diabetes or at least have an awareness of the catastrophic complications associated with poor diabetic control." - Nee Juan Gibson, South West London