Thursday, 22 December 2011

Have a healthy Christmas!

Great meeting with John Craig earlier this week. He is working on a project between the Innovation Unit and NESTA.

It's called the " People powered health programme and aims to investigate how people can better manage their health care?

Did you see an important report last week about Diabetes? This indicated that up to 24,000 diabetes-related deaths could be avoided in England each year, if patients and doctors better managed the condition.

The first-ever audit of patient deaths from the condition said basic health checks, a good diet and regular medication could prevent most of them.

Diabetes UK said it was vital the 2.3 million sufferers had top quality care.
The Department of Health in England said shocking variations in care and an unacceptable death toll were evident.

About a third of people in the UK affected do not realise they have the condition.
It means their bodies cannot use glucose properly. If they do not manage it, they can develop potentially fatal complications like heart or kidney failure.

The report, by the NHS Information Centre, compared information about people with diabetes in England with data from death records.

The data
In England in 2008/09:
• 75,000 deaths occurred in people with diabetes
• 24,000 of those deaths were classed as avoidable
• About three quarters of excess deaths were in people aged 65 and over
• A small proportion - 104 - were in men and women aged between 15 and 34 (about two excess deaths a week)
• Of the 104 deaths, 52 were in women
• Because younger people in general have a low risk of dying - the absolute numbers are very small, but represent a nine fold higher risk compared with other age groups
• Source: NHS information centre

Around 70-75,000 diabetic patients die every year.The study estimated that a third of them were dying from causes that could be avoided if their condition were better managed.

That includes basic health checks from doctors, and patients taking medication and keeping to a healthy diet.

For patients with Type 1, the risk of dying was 2.6 times higher than it was for the general population.

With Type 2, the risk was 1.6 times higher.But in younger age groups, the risk was far greater. Women between the ages of 15 and 34 with Type 1 diabetes were nine times more likely to die than other women of the same age. Men in the same age group were four times more likely to die if they had the condition.

It is the first time there has been such a comprehensive assessment of the number of affected people dying. The National Diabetes Information Service said the number of people with the condition was rising, so if nothing was done, the number of deaths would increase.

Yet another indication of the need to move resources from cute hospital care into the community amd to third sector organisations. When will the NHS start listening?

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