An estimated four million people now have diabetes, twice as many as in the early 1990s, a report from University College London revealed. Sir Sam Everington, who leads a general practice in south London, said obesity, diet and lifestyle factors were key, especially in disadvantaged areas. He highlighted the London borough of Tower Hamlets, where life expectancy and quality of life are significantly lower than in affluent parts of the capital.
He said: “Every Tube stop you go out towards east London, you lose a year of your life. In Tower Hamlets there are 42 chicken shops per secondary school.
“You actually have to drive out inequalities…and that’s quite a challenging concept.”
Speaking at a UCL press conference, he said there was “nothing wrong with the occasional chicken and chips” but it was a problem if such meals were the norm.
Cutting down on meat was beneficial, he added, hailing the release of the new vegan sausage roll by bakery chain Greggs as progress.
UCL’s Overcoming Diabetes report claims that if authorities, politicians, doctors and patients work together, diabetes could be “effectively overcome as a major health hazard by the 2050s”.
Author Professor David Taylor suggested the NHS should provide more funding for blood tests.
He said: “Arguably, everyone over 40 should know their HbA1c number, which averages blood sugar levels over three months.”
Diabetes UK’s director of research Elizabeth Robertson said the complicated disease was a health crisis and said patients needed to be given more tailored care.
She said: “We really need to start to treat, diagnose, prevent, care for and manage people in a very personalised way.” She added that community-wide education about the effect of fat in the liver and pancreas was crucial for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes.
Recent research has found weight loss can not only prevent Type 2 diabetes, but actually put it into remission in many cases, she said.
She said the UK had “world-leading” diabetes research and innovation and a strong NHS system, but more investment and teamwork was needed to make the most of them.
Meanwhile, London pharmacist Imran Khan said community pharmacists could help to ease the pressure on GPs who are seeing a “tsunami” of diabetes patients seeking help.
He said: “We’re missing a major opportunity. Community pharmacists are uniquely placed. If they need a little bit of extra training, fine.”
About seven per cent of the population have diabetes, with a further half a million estimated to be living with the condition undiagnosed.
£570BN Boost FOR CUTTING-EDGE HEALTHCARE
REGIONAL health services will receive a cash boost of £570billion to fund cutting-edge treatments and take pressure off hospitals, it was announced yesterday.
Every health trust in England will benefit from a 17 per cent funding rise over the next five years, including a minimum increase of 4.4 per cent next year.
The money will be used to give every child with cancer genetic tests to determine the best treatment, to improve mental health services and to build up community-based care. Areas with the highest rates of early deaths will be given a larger share of the pot to tackle inequalities.
Under the new fairer funding formula, two of the areas with the worst rates for premature deaths, Blackpool and Bradford, will get rises of between 11 and 13 per cent next year alone, meaning they will have an extra £40million and £26million to invest.
NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said: “This funding backs delivery of the NHS long-term plan in every part of England for the next five years.
“Tackling health inequalities in our society is not just about fairness.
“It is also a matter of hard-headed economics which will not only save lives but also save taxpayers’ money and NHS staff time.
“The public can be confident that the NHS will make every penny count.”
Published at Fri, 11 Jan 2019 13:31:00 +0000