Public Release: 

£100m a year could improve diabetes care

Implementing intensive control of blood glucose concentration and blood pressure in type 2 diabetes in England: cost analysis (UKPDS 63) BMJ Volume 325, pp 860-3

BMJ

£100m a year could greatly improve diabetes care in England, and is less than 1% of planned increases in NHS spending, conclude researchers in this week's BMJ.

The United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) found that more intensive control of blood glucose and blood pressure for patients with type 2 diabetes is effective and cost effective. In their study this week, Alastair Gray and colleagues estimate the total costs and potential savings of fully implementing these findings for all people with type 2 diabetes in England.

The net annual cost of implementing the main findings of the UKPDS for all people with diagnosed type 2 diabetes in England is about £100m. This is equivalent to less than 1% of the proposed increase in annual expenditure on the NHS in 2001-5 set out in the government's spending plans, say the authors.

About 720 additional staff would be required to implement these control policies, especially specialist nurses and practice nurses, but the advent of primary care trusts and the national service framework for diabetes should create new incentives and mechanisms to adopt these improved standards, add the authors.

Although many claims are made on these additional resources, it seems reasonable that one guiding principle should be to allocate funds to interventions of proved effectiveness and cost effectiveness that will benefit many people, they conclude.

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