A charity has launched a new free booklet to raise awareness of the importance of nine essential health checks people with diabetes are entitled to every year.
The routine tests include checking blood pressure, cholesterol levels and kidney function. These are recommended by health watchdog NICE to protect health and help to prevent long-term complications of both Type 1 and 2 diabetes.
According to the latest available NHS data, in 2019/20 only 37.4% of people with type 1 diabetes received all of the checks and it was only 52.2% for those with type 2 diabetes.
The InDependent Diabetes Trust (IDDT) says these figures are now likely to be even lower, with its helpline having been inundated with calls since the outbreak of the pandemic from people concerned about not having access to the checks.
In response, the IDDT has published a new booklet called entitled ‘Diabetes Care – Your 9 key checks’ which explains what the key tests are and why people with diabetes need them.
It helps people to look after their diabetes and their future health by ensuring that they know what health checks they need and that they are carried out by the healthcare professionals looking after their diabetes.
Martin Hirst, the charity’s Chief Executive, said: “The pandemic has made this situation even more difficult because many routine checks and face-to-face appointments have not been available. However, many people do not know they are supposed to receive these nine checks nor do they know what they are, what they are for and how they are carried out.
Jenny Hirst, Co-Chair and co-founder of the organisation, said: “As well as getting across how important these checks are for both the present and future health of people with diabetes, we need to make sure people with diabetes actually realise that they are entitled to them.
“Unfortunately, we are hearing that many people do not realise that there are nine key health checks which they are entitled to at least once a year.”
The IDDT is a national charity providing vital independent support for people with diabetes, their parents and carers throughout the country.
The charity formed in 1994 to fight for choice of treatment for all. It now provides a free, confidential helpline, has published dozens of helpful publications, stages events and lobbies the government on behalf of its members.
To get a copy of the booklet contact the IDDT, on 01604 622837, email [email protected] or write to IDDT, PO Box 294, Northampton NN1 4XS.
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