Two thirds of people with diabetes “do not have a personal care plan”
Diabetes UK Cymru is urging Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board to make sure that every person living with diabetes in the area has a personal care plan. Care plans help people take control of their diabetes and help reduce unnecessary and preventable complications like stroke, kidney failure amputation and blindness.
Results of the charity’s annual online survey into the healthcare that people with diabetes receive show that of the 1,609 people across the UK who took part, 64.9 per cent of people said they had no care plan in place.
This call comes as the National Diabetes Audit figures show that 81 per cent of people with diabetes in the Health Board are missing key treatment targets. This includes measurements of blood glucose control (HbA1c), blood pressure and cholesterol. This suggests that the majority of people with diabetes aren’t able to manage their condition effectively which can lead to devastating complications. Treating these complications currently accounts for 80 per cent of the £500 million a year the NHS spends on diabetes in Wales.
The Welsh Government has placed patient awareness and support at the core of its new diabetes strategy. In October their Together for Health – A Diabetes Delivery Plan tasked Health Boards to design individualised care plans around a patient’s specific needs for every person with diabetes in Wales.
By working with their health care professional to develop their own care plan people living with diabetes can improve their understanding of their condition and learn to manage it more effectively. Giving people clear targets can help them manage their condition on a daily basis and achieve better control of their diabetes. Evidence shows that people who control their diabetes well can live longer, healthier lives.
Diabetes UK Cymru’s Director Dai Williams said: “Personal care planning is absolutely fundamental to treating diabetes effectively. We can’t expect people to manage their own condition without the information and support that they need.
“For over a decade Welsh Government has anticipated that each person living with diabetes in Wales has their own personal care plan, but the provision is still patchy and inconsistent.
“There are now 31,600 people living with diabetes within the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, a figure that is set to rise, and the NHS can’t carry on spending money on treating the effects of poor diabetes management. Something has to change.
“All health boards are now asked to report annually to the Welsh Government to demonstrate that people with diabetes have a care plan and we now hope to see big and speedy improvements across Wales.”
Diabetes UK’s information and advice on care planning is available online at www.diabetes.org.uk/care-planning.