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Postcode lottery for Sussex diabetes patients
5:20pm Tuesday 29th May 2012 in News
A postcode lottery has emerged in the care of diabetic patients across Sussex.
Figures show less than half of diabetics in Brighton and Hove and West Sussex are getting the recommended level of care, while the figure rose to just over half for East Sussex Downs and Weald.
Hastings and Rother was the best performing primary care trust in the county, with more than 60% of patients getting the full care they need.
The report by the National Audit Office (NAO) investigated how many patients were getting the nine basic care processes which reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications such as blindness, amputation or kidney disease.
The tests are recommended by the Department of Health.
The report authors said: “People with diabetes require regular review of clinical indicators of disease progression.
“Without regular monitoring and treatment, this damage can lead to complications.”
Barbara Young, the chief executive of Diabetes UK, said it was a “national disgrace” that only half of people with diabetes received the recommended standards of care.
NHS Sussex director of quality and chief nurse Julie Dutchman-Bailey said: “Some people manage their care very well by working with their GP and practice nurse; other patients need more specialist support.
“If anyone has concerns about the management of their diabetes, they should contact their practice.”
More than 1,400 people a year in Sussex die from complications caused by their diabetes.
The National Diabetes Audit for England, published last year, found the number of deaths could be reduced if sufferers received better NHS care and if their condition was better managed.
It also found that women with diabetes are nine times more likely to die young than those without the condition.
The number of people developing diabetes in the county is growing, partly due to a rise in obesity.