Huge rise in diabetes cases puts pressure on NHS, Diabetes UK warns

The total number of sufferers now stands at 3,333,069 and the charity has warned that there is an urgent need for more effective care and prevention.

Approximately 90 per cent of cases suffer from type two diabetes, which is closely linked to diet and obesity. Diabetes UK advises that better prevention methods could help to elevate the huge cost this places on the NHS, with ten per cent of the NHS primary care prescribing bill currently spent on insulin and antodiabetic drugs.

Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, explained: “Over the past decade, the number of people living with diabetes in the UK has increased by over one million people, which is the equivalent of the population of a small country such as Cyprus. With a record number of people now living with diabetes in the UK, there is no time to waste – the government must act now.

She added: “Diabetes already costs the NHS nearly £10 billion a year, and 80 per cent of this is spent on managing avoidable complications. So there is huge potential to save money and reduce pressure on NHS hospitals and services through providing better care to prevent people with diabetes from developing devastating and costly complications.

“The NHS must prioritise providing better care, along with improved and more flexible education options, for people with diabetes now, and give them the best possible chance of living long and healthy lives. Until then, avoidable human suffering will continue and the costs of treating diabetes will continue to spiral out of control and threaten to bankrupt the NHS. Now is the time for action.”

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