The district’s primary care trust is failing to provide around two-thirds of adult diabetic patients with the basic care services recommended by the Department of Health.
A report published yesterday by the National Audit Office (NAO) revealed treatment for diabetes patients is a postcode lottery with a massive variation in quality of care from one region to another.
In some regions, only six per cent of sufferers received the recommended levels of care compared to 69 per cent in the highest-achieving primary care trusts (PCTs).
In Bradford and Airedale just 30 to 39 per cent of diabetes patients received the nine basic care processes which reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications, such as blindness, amputation or kidney disease.
More than 28,000 people in the district have diabetes, with Type 2 diabetes accounting for around 90 per of all diagnoses.
The nine tests monitor a patient’s urine, blood pressure, body mass index, cholesterol, blood, eyes, feet, glucose levels and smoking habits.
Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said: “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 expected 23 per cent increase by 2020 in the number of people in England with diabetes will have a major impact on NHS resources unless the efficiency and effectiveness of existing services are substantially improved.”
A spokesman for NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds said: “We are working with GPs to ensure all patients with diabetes in Bradford and Airedale are monitored.
“In 2010 we completed a redesign of diabetes services across the district which has led to improved services and an expansion of community-based clinics, providing better access for patients, particularly those from disadvantaged groups.
“The new diabetic eye screening service has been designed around the needs of patients to help increase the number of people with diabetes who access this important annual check.
“Community clinic numbers have increased from six to 16 and we have also looked at areas of low uptake to help provide an even more accessible service with mobile clinics.
“We have a strong focus on diabetes prevention and education, particularly in areas of Bradford where prevalence of type 2 diabetes is high, to increase early detection and uptake of services and improve self-management.”
Telegraph & Argus reporter Hannah Postles, who has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, here tells how important the right medical support has been for her.
I was diagnosed with type one diabetes five months ago.
Since then, I’ve had my blood glucose measured and blood pressure taken and been taught to count carbohydrates to calculate how much insulin I need to give myself. I’ve also had regular consultations and phone calls from my diabetes specialist nurse, seen a dietician and had a physical examination by my consultant.
Without the care I’ve received so far, I would have struggled to adapt to my new lifestyle and stay healthy.
Diabetes isn’t like other conditions where you’re told to take pills a set number of times a day. When I was diagnosed, I was given a bag full of insulin pens and needles and put in control of my own health. That is a lot to cope with, which is why it’s so important people receive the nine basic care processes to make sure they manage their condition properly.
People with diabetes can live normal lives and if problems are picked up early the risk of serious complications can be prevented.