MORE than 40 per cent of people living with diabetes in Scotland are struggling to manage their condition, which could place greater financial strain on the NHS, campaigners said.
Diabetes Scotland said that wider education can be the “silver bullet” against preventing complications such as kidney disease, stroke and amputation among the 276,000 Scots with the condition.
Diabetes, which occurs when there is not enough glucose in the blood, can have devastating consequences if it is not managed correctly.
NHS Scotland revealed that 42.6 per cent of people with diabetes exceeded their blood glucose level at a yearly check.
For people with Type 1 diabetes this figure soars to more than 76 per cent.
NHS Scotland spends nearly £1 billion each year on diabetes, with 80 per cent of this cost going towards treating avoidable complications.
Jane-Claire Judson, national director of Diabetes Scotland, said: “Education can be the silver bullet. By attending a diabetes education course people feel empowered to take control, manage their condition with confidence and reduce their risk of developing avoidable complications, such as kidney disease, stroke and amputation.
“Similarly, we are reaching out to NHS Scotland and healthcare professionals to ensure that everyone who is diagnosed with diabetes is offered education as part of the 15 Healthcare Essentials which everyone with diabetes should receive routinely and free of charge.”
The charity is launching a new campaign called Take Control to encourage people to attend courses to broaden their knowledge of the “complex and often overwhelming” condition.
Ms Judson added: “While improvements in patient education in recent years have been encouraging, with the issue acknowledged in the Scottish Government’s Diabetes Improvement Plan 2014, more needs to be done to ensure that every person diagnosed with diabetes is able to access the essential education which can allow them to live well.
“It is crucial that education is made available both at the point of diagnosis and beyond as the education needs of people already living with the condition can change over time.”