The cost of diabetes care, why you should worry and what to do about it

costs of diabetesSo – with refreshing honesty we are finally admitting that the NHS is running out of money and the levels and costs of care are unsustainable.  This isn’t some distant problem – according to a new report it’s due to kick in and become very real from 2015. That’s one year from now.

In just one year we can expect to begin to see the already struggling NHS really fraying at the seams, and qualities of care beginning to decline.

If the existing standards of care were good that would be a problem.  But the existing standards of care for diabetes are already woeful, so it’s a potentially catastrophic problem!  The National Audit Office acknowledge this is in their 2012 report, stating “The Department of Health has failed to deliver diabetes care to the standard it set out as long ago as 2001. This has resulted in people with diabetes developing avoidable complications, in a high number of preventable deaths and in increased costs for the NHS.”

The NHS already spends 10% of it entire annual budget on diabetes care – that’s billions of pounds every year. And that’s at the current levels of diabetes in the UK.

What then happens when the levels of diabetes rise as predicted: from a current 3 million (ish) people diagnosed today to the 5 million (at least) now being predicted within the next decade?

It’s a gloomy picture.  No money to deliver even the inadequate care we currently offer within the UK, let alone raise standards of care.  It seems inevitable that those who care about their health, who actually value their health, who want to keep their health, will have to face the reality of self-funding.  Because if they don’t then the picture is really bleak.

Because most adults today have grown up used to the idea that healthcare in the UK is free at the point of service (of course the NHS is not “free” it costs billions in taxes) we probably have no real understanding of what that will actually mean to us. A little research shows that the realistic lifetime cost of diabetes care for an individual is about the same as a mortgage. In the US an adult diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes can expect to spend an average of $85,000, and up to $130,000 on diabetes care, according to new figures. About half of that will be spent on perfectly preventable complications, including amputations, heart disease and stroke.

We should worry!  Because, as we know these perfectly preventable complications are already not being prevented in many parts of the UK.  A Diabetes UK report reveals this so-called post code lottery.

The most scandalous thing about this situation is that all it needs is a little education about nutrition and lifestyle to seriously slash these predictions.

Since 2005 NICE have recommended that everyone diagnosed with diabetes should be given access to structured education programmes.  Yet it isn’t happening, as the figures below highlight:

People offered structured education:

  • Newly diagnosed:  2.2% Type 1, 12.0% Type 2
  • All people with diabetes: 1.6% Type 1, 4.5% Type 2

People having attended structured education:

  • Newly diagnosed – 0.6% Type 1, 3.1% Type 2
  • All people with diabetes – 1.0% Type 1, 1.4% Type 2

Even when education is provided it involves just 45 minutes to 2 hours on nutrition and lifestyle – yet that’s the one thing an individual can really do for themselves to make a massive difference to the likely outcomes of their diabetes.

So where’s the good news?

Well here it is:  RebalanceDiabetes provides a comprehensive nutritional and lifestyle education programme – typically 15 hours over 7 sessions – at a fraction of the lifetime cost of diabetes care. It’s simply the most effective nutrition and lifestyle education programme available for those living with diabetes, and is achieving fabulous results in terms of weight management, blood sugar balance, and other relevant health indicators such as cholesterol levels, blood pressure levels, as well as leaving participants looking and feeling great.   Click here NOW to book your brighter future!

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