Warning over failings in diabetes care for tens of thousands of young people

diabetics aged under 40 receive fewer vital checks than older patients, figures reveal today.

A national audit assessing care of more than two million people with the condition in England and Wales found that of 130,000 patients under the age of 40, only 29 per cent with Type 1 diabetes and 46 per cent with Type 2 diabetes received eight of nine recommended care checks.

The annual checks assess the effectiveness of treatment, as well as risks of eye disease and foot ailments which can lead to amputations.

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Experts are warning the failures are putting patients at risk.

Figures published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre show taking all patients together 72 per cent of diabetics in Doncaster were given eight out of nine checks, falling to only 44 per cent of those in neighbouring Rotherham - significantly below the England and Wales average of 60 per cent in 2012-13.

Bob Young, clinical lead for the audit, said: “Younger people are receiving substantially worse routine care and treatment than older patients and yet will live longer with their diabetes. They are therefore most at risk of developing complications that will affect their health and could lead to mortality.”

Diabetes UK chief executive Barbara Young added: “The tragic consequence of this are already plain to see, with young women with diabetes nine times more likely to die in any given year than other women their age. The NHS already spends 10 per cent of its entire budget on diabetes and this will rise even further if we do not get better at supporting people with diabetes to stay healthy.”