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Many diabetics do not have a care plan, warns charity

Two thirds of diabetics without a personal care plan

Adrian O'Dowd

Monday, 17 March 2014

GPs are failing to ensure that all of their patients with diabetes are receiving a personal care plan, according to early results of a soon to be published survey by charity Diabetes UK.

The charity said its annual online survey about the healthcare people with diabetes receive – completed by 1,609 people – found that 64.9% of people said they had no care plan in place.

This was despite strong evidence, said the charity, that giving people with long-term conditions greater control over how their condition is managed improved their health outcomes.

NICE recommends that every person with diabetes should receive personalised care planning resulting in an agreed care plan as it helps them to manage the condition.

Having a care plan allowed people to be more involved in agreeing with their health care team how best to manage their diabetes and could help reduce the risk of serious complications such as kidney failure, amputations, stroke and heart attack.

Treating complications from diabetes accounts for 80% of the £10 billion per year that the NHS spends on diabetes.

Diabetes UK said many of these complications could be prevented through better ongoing management of the condition, hence its call for NHS organisations to ensure everyone with diabetes had a personalised care plan.

To address a lack of awareness of care planning, the charity has also launched an animation showing how people can get more involved in their diabetes care.

Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “We know that personalised care planning helps put people with diabetes in the driving seat and, crucially, gives them a better chance of a long and healthy life.

“Personalised care planning is not about a person having a sheet on the file at their GP surgery that says ‘personal care plan’. To be effective it must not be a tick box exercise.

“It is about giving the person with diabetes the opportunity to work together with their healthcare team to be more informed, more vocal and play a bigger role in their care.

“By helping prevent complications, care planning is good news for people with diabetes and good news for the NHS’s finances, which is why we want more people to get it.

“We need to get the message across to the NHS that if people with diabetes do not have personalised care planning at the moment, then this needs to be rectified urgently.”

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