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October 2019

Patients with mental illness and T2D miss out on checks

Half of the 73,000 people diagnosed with severe mental illness (SMI) and type 2 diabetes in England and Wales are not receiving routine checks to help prevent complications, new analysis from Diabetes UK shows.

The NHS advises that all people with diabetes, should receive the eight NICE recommended checks – including blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol and footchecks.

There is variation of 60% between the best and worst performing areas across England with 78% of Hackney residents with T2D and SMI receiving all checks compared to only 18% in Wolverhampton.

Diabetes UK is urgently calling on the NHS to move faster to better integration of mental health and diabetes care. It says the care of people with diabetes in mental health settings should ensure diabetes care is prioritised, particularly since people with SMI are at higher risk of T2D than the general population.

Nikki Joule, Policy Manager at Diabetes UK, said: ‘The health system should recognise that long term physical and mental health conditions often occur together and provide care that focuses on the whole person rather than a single condition. We need to bridge the divide between physical and mental health services to ensure those with severe mental illness and type 2 diabetes do not have their physical care needs overlooked. It is critical that all care sees the whole person, and provides integrated support.’

Find out more about Diabetes UK’s campaign on mental health and diabetes care