The consequences of failing to follow the eight care processes for diabetes
One third of people in the UK who have been diagnosed with diabetes do not receive the ‘eight care processes’ recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). These processes ensure that people living with diabetes are monitored closely to prevent their condition from getting worse and leading to further complications.
This monitoring includes checking the effectiveness of their treatment and ensuring it is still working for them. If it isn’t, then this must be changed. Other areas that NICE suggest should be closely monitored are, blood pressure, serum cholesterol, body mass index, kidney checks, which includes urine albumin and serum creatinine, smoking and patient’s feet must be examined on a regular basis.
It is concerning that one third of people living with diabetes may be at risk of serious, additional, ongoing health problems, as a result of not receiving the eight care processes. With there being 3.3 million people in the UK with diabetes, that is potentially a huge number of patients who are at risk of further complications. Of course, especially with type 2 diabetes, there needs to be support and awareness raised regarding the necessary life style changes that need to be made to manage this condition.
Not only does failing to do this result in patients going on to have serious complications, but it is also costing the NHS close to eight billion pounds every year to pay for these further complications. Most of which could be avoided by providing patients with the eight care processes.
Diabetes UK has stated that the government must take action on this matter, as it is costing the NHS billions of pounds that it cannot afford. There has been an increase of over a million people diagnosed with diabetes in the last 10 years, which shows that this is a condition that is increasing. It follows that the cost to the NHS will also grow with it. Diabetes UK has predicted that the number of people with diabetes will increase by four million in the next 10 years.
The damage this is doing to an already limited funded NHS is significant. However, what is significantly more concerning is the damage that inadequate care and treatment can lead to for people with this condition. Further complications include amputations, heart conditions, strokes and blindness. It has been suggested that people are just not aware of how serious this condition can be and how serious the implications are if it goes without proper treatment and monitoring.
According to Diabetes UK, the government needs to raise awareness about the seriousness of further complications and take action to ensure that the guidance set out by NICE are followed, with support in place to for patients to make the necessary lifestyle changes. If this does not happen, this could have devastating effects for millions of diabetes suffers and additionally, for the NHS, as it simply cannot afford to carry on funding the cost of the further, avoidable complications of diabetes.
If you believe that you or a member of your family has suffered as a result of medical negligence, please contact us on 0117 239 8012, or email us by using the online contact form and we will be happy to discuss your potential claim with you.
References and further reading:
- The Guardian - Huge rise in UK diabetes cases threatens to bankrupt NHS
- BBC News - Diabetes cases soar
Website content note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.