POORLY managed diabetes costs the NHS an avoidable £3billion a year, says a damning study.
One in three patients, around a million adults, fail to control blood sugars.
They needlessly end up in hospital with heart attacks, strokes, kidney problems and leg ulcers.
Experts warn that nearly ten per cent of English hospitals’ £36billion budget last year could have been saved if sufferers reduced their levels below maximum standards.
The findings were presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes annual meeting in Barcelona.
Researcher Dr Adrian Heald, from Salford Royal Hospital, said: “People with diabetes are admitted to hospital more often, especially as emergencies, and stay on as inpatients longer.
“These increased costs — 40 per cent from non-elective and emergency care — are three times higher than current costs of diabetes medication.
“Improved management by GPs and specialist care teams could improve health and substantially reduce costs.”
Researchers analysed data on planned care as well as A&E visits, emergency admissions and outpatient visits for 58million people in England.
Type 2 diabetes accounts for nine in ten adult diabetes cases. Such patients needed £1,291 of hospital care a year. The hospital spend for Type 1 diabetes was £3,035 annually.
A patient without the illness costs £510 on average. Health bosses aim to enrol 200,000 people a year on a fat-fighting programme and are investing in life-changing tech to measure sugar levels.
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Emma Elvin, of Diabetes UK, said: “Over a million people with diabetes were admitted in 2017 — equal to around 18 per cent of hospital beds.
“But only eight per cent were admitted because of their condition.
“Everyone, regardless of having diabetes or not, can have conditions or accidents that put them in hospital.”
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