Cost-of-living and impact on diabetes report published
Rising food costs are also a factor, with the recent ‘sugar tax’ on certain products, although this has also resulted in reduced obesity rates. However, many people with diabetes at risk of hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose levels) also consume a sugary snack alongside adjustments to insulin doses, to avoid complications.
The report suggested some measures where in place to reduce problems caused to families with diabetes, including the NHS England led ‘Core20Plus5’ approach for children and young people with diabetes – to improve uptake of technology in type 1 diabetes and care process measurement in type 2 diabetes in the most deprived areas to reduce health inequalities.
In addition, there are further suggestions that charities could focus on quality of heating in homes for the vulnerable, living with diabetes. Recent studies found that every £1 spent on improving warmth in vulnerable homes could result in £4 in health benefits.
Report authors suggested: “This could not be more pertinent than in a long-term condition like diabetes.”
The report added: “This public health emergency needs an urgent, collaborative effort from many areas to (a) mitigate the immediate, negative effects of the current crisis, and (b) focus efforts on long-term reduction of health inequalities for people with diabetes.
“Integrated diabetes care between different levels of health care providers is now embedded in many areas within the NHS. However, the focus needs to be shifted to the most vulnerable in society in this current cost-of-living crisis by improving access to screening programmes, health care checks and appointments. This could be done with increased appointment frequency closer to home, improved access to and utiIisation of technology for virtual appointments, via grants/funding from local charities and health boards.”
The report concluded: “A significant amount of the annual NHS budget is spent on dealing with complications of diabetes. The cost-of-living crisis is more than just a financial pinch – it is a public health emergency. The consequences can impact all aspects of diabetes care, for people living with the condition and for health care services. Urgent action is needed from all levels of influential organisations to mitigate the negative consequences, both in the short and long term.”
Read the report in Practical Diabetes
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