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Fears for diabetes care as figures reveal growing problem

The exponential rise in Type 2 diabetes cases has ignited a debate about the NHS’ ability to cope, with figures released yesterday revealing care is sorely lacking in some areas and has even been described as ‘out of control’.

The Telegraph reports figures from Public Health England which show that 120 limbs are being amputated a week from diabetic patients whose diabetes and healthcare professionals can play a key role in preventing this. Meanwhile, according to the on average just one in three patients has their blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels properly controlled.

These figures are unacceptable and with diabetes cases only predicted to rise it is a crisis that the NHS needs to get to grips with. .

The specialist medical negligence team at JMW have dealt with numerous diabetes medical negligence cases and have seen the devastating impact on lives. We therefore find it very worrying that sufferers may be being placed in unnecessary danger.

Our experience has shown that good management of diabetes is essential. Limb amputations are often avoidable if adequate preventative measures have been taken to control the condition. Meanwhile poor care can also cause other complications that lead to emergency hospital admissions and in the worst cases even death.

But why are these failures occurring? It is for the NHS to urgently investigate what the fundamental reasons are, but as solicitors who specialise in this area of law we have insight into some of the common causes of avoidable injuries for diabetic patients.

GPs play a key role in monitoring diabetic patients and ensuring their condition is managed. Failures on their part have cropped up a number of the cases JMW has handled on behalf of patients and families. This has included failing to monitor and treat complications such as abscesses and not taking steps to ensure vulnerable patients have adequate care in the community to ensure that they are regularly taking essential medication.

These failures have contributed to the patients developing sepsis, pressure sores or falling into a diabetic coma. These are extremely serious injuries and they have had life-changing consequences for the people involved.

Although we can help victims of this type of negligence to claim the compensation they are entitled to so they can cope with their injuries, often of most importance to them is that lessons are learned and other patients protected. Following the publication of these latest figures they need assurances that this will be a priority.

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