Barbara Young, Chief Executive at Diabetes UK, said:
“We are very concerned that at a time when numbers of people with diabetes are increasing – data last week revealed a 130,000 new cases in the past year – we are seeing a decrease in frontline diabetes specialists. A Diabetes UK audit earlier this year, for instance, revealed over 200 diabetes specialist nurse (DSN) positions are unfilled – twice the figure reported in 2009.
“Diabetes Specialist Nurses (DSNs) working in the community are crucial in preventing people with the condition being admitted to hospital, and diabetes specialist teams in hospitals are critical in reducing the length of stay.
“There must be far greater investment in specialist teams if we are to see a reduction in waiting times, prevent unnecessary amputations, stop people losing their sight and improve health outcomes for the increasing numbers of people with diabetes in the UK. This shortfall is a clear false economy which harms patient care and creates more cost to the NHS, rather than focussing resources more effectively.”
Further info: Huw Beale, Media Manager, Diabetes UK – 020 7424 1152
NHS Diabetes Press Release: Inpatient diabetes – £600 million excess outlay could be reduced with specialist care
NHS Diabetes is today calling for more investment in specialist diabetes care to reduce the estimated £600 million excess spend on treating diabetes in hospitals identified in a new report.
People with diabetes are more likely to be admitted to hospital and have longer stays than people of the same age without the condition.
The research, titled ‘Inpatient Care for People with Diabetes – The Economic Case for Change (PDF 10MB)', found that the NHS in England spends more than £2.3 billion a year on inpatient care for people with diabetes. That’s 11% of NHS inpatient care expenditure.
About £600 million of this outlay is estimated to be excess expenditure on diabetes – that is, over and above the sum spent on a population of the same age and gender without the condition. Inpatient care for someone with diabetes costs the NHS 35% more a year than care for someone of the same age without diabetes.
In spite of these high levels of expenditure, the report presents evidence that diabetes inpatient care is poor in many areas. Specialist diabetes inpatient teams can improve outcomes for patients and generate savings that substantially outweigh the cost of such teams.
The findings have led NHS Diabetes Director Anna Morton to call for more investment in specialist diabetes teams. She said: “There is cause for concern about the quality of inpatient care and people with diabetes frequently experience avoidable complications while in hospital.
“If people with diabetes are admitted to hospital, care from diabetes specialist nurses reduces problems and shortens lengths of stay. Unnecessary hospital admissions and lengths of stay do not only increase costs, more importantly they cause great distress for patients.”
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