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'Wide variation' of diabetes care across England

The numbers of people with diabetes and high blood pressure - as well as the quality of their treatment - varies widely across England, new figures show. 

Healthier Lives: Diabetes, Hypertension and NHS Health Check shows that only one in three people with diabetes are having their treatment targets met. 

There are three treatment targets: Controlling blood pressure (hypertension); blood sugar and cholesterol. 

Across the country, only 36% of patients are having all treatment targets met. In the best performing areas, 48% of patients are having all treatment targets met. 

However, research shows that meeting treatment targets, together with care processes such as foot checks, reduces the risk of future complications such as major amputations. 

Around 120 people with diabetes have a limb amputated each week. 

Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary said: “We know that diabetes can have a devastating impact on people and we want everybody to get excellent care and support, regardless of where they live.

“This data will help doctors and nurses see at a glance where the problem areas are so improvements can be targeted. This will not only benefit patients but also help to save valuable NHS funds.”

Martin McShane, NHS England's Director for people with long term conditions said: “A clear focus on the need for the prevention of long term conditions featured prominently in the renewed vision for the NHS in England, announced last week. A healthy lifestyle in adults at high risk of diabetes can halve the likelihood of suffering from the condition, but there is also a need for NHS England to support evidence based treatment shaped to support individuals. 

“Healthier Lives shows just how much potential there is to improve the impact of these and similar preventive services across the country.” 

The new interactive “heat map” released by Public Health England (PHE) includes information on the prevalence of conditions, levels of care provided and the quality of care in each local authority, CCG and general practice, compared to the England average. 

Healthier Lives is available to view here