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Fiona backs call for Government action to end diabetes postcode lottery

Fiona has backed a call by Diabetes UK for Government action to end the postcode lottery of diabetes healthcare, which is fuelling a major health crisis.

Ms Mactaggart attended Diabetes UK’s parliamentary launch of its State of the Nation 2013 report, which has highlighted huge regional variations in people’s ability to access quality diabetes healthcare. The report also shows that while there have been improvements in some aspects of care - such as more people meeting the target level for blood pressure –in some aspects of care, things have got worse.

The charity is urging the Government and NHS England to carry out a review into why the quality of healthcare varies so much between areas and put in place an action plan to improve healthcare for people living in the worst performing areas.

Ms Mactaggart said: “While many healthcare professionals are already giving excellent diabetes healthcare, Diabetes UK’s State of the Nation report shows that the NHS is failing to provide universally high quality diabetes care across the country. This postcode lottery is fuelling a health crisis and is leading to thousands of people with diabetes developing devastating health complications such as blindness and amputations.

“Action is needed to hold poor performing areas to account so that people receive quality diabetes care no matter where they live. I will be talking to local NHS leaders about what can be done to help ensure everyone with diabetes in Slough get the care and support they need to manage the condition.”

“Fiona met her constituent, Charlotte Massey who has type 1 diabetes at the event. Fiona said, “I am happy to support Charlotte in her hard work in championing this cause and raising awareness.”

Robin Hewings, Diabetes UK Head of Policy, said: "We are pleased to have Fiona Mactaggart’s support on what is a very important issue. Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing the country today and the number of people with the condition is expected to rise to 5 million by 2025. Yet our State of the Nation report shows that many people with the condition are being let down by a postcode lottery of care that is leading to debilitating complications and premature death.

“Across the country there is a major missed opportunity in people with diabetes getting structured education. It helps people to self-manage their diabetes well by giving them the skills, knowledge and motivation to take control of their diabetes.”

“This is why we are calling for Government action to ensure that all areas of the country provide excellent standards. With access to high quality care, patient education and effective diabetes management, there is no reason why people with diabetes should not live long and healthy lives.”