Tuesday, 6 May 2014
Diabetic patients occupy one in seven hospital beds
Diabetes costs the NHS £10 billion a year – with one in seven hospital beds occupied by someone with the condition
One in seven hospital beds is taken up by someone with diabetes – pushing the NHS bill to £10 billion a year for treating the disease.
A report by charity Diabetes UK, seen by The Daily Mail, says managing the condition already accounts for about 10 per cent of the total NHS budget, with most being spent on complications such as amputations and strokes.
Costs will continue to rise over the next 20 years, warns the charity, when diabetes is expected to account for 17 per cent of the NHS budget.
Diabetes UK argues that money is often spent badly, with sufferers diagnosed late, meaning they have to spend extra days in hospital running up huge bills for the NHS.
Only one in ten of those newly diagnosed are offered advice on how to manage their condition. However, better education could save £2,200 per patient.
A reduction in foot amputations – a costly and traumatic complication of diabetes – could save the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds a year.
Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “The NHS is spending an eye-watering amount on diabetes but the money isn’t being used effectively, which is running up a huge bill for the future.
"This report shows how by dealing with problems early, such as by improved inpatient care and effective care planning, costs could be greatly reduced and more people would live longer and healthier lives.
"Too often, the focus is on cutting costs in the short-term such as by cutting diabetes specialist nurses, restricting access to blood glucose test strips and poorly planed transferrals to primary care.
"But this is making it difficult for those with diabetes to manage the condition and is offering poor value for money for taxpayers."
Around 3.8 million people in the UK have diabetes, including 600,000 who are unaware they have it. The number of sufferers could rise to five million by 2025.
It would appear us LowCarbers are doing our bit to save the NHS cash then !