Providing good quality diabetes care is complex but achievable. Many aspects of the care do not require high tech medicine but, rather, good organisation. Diabetes is a costly disease, consuming 1500 pounds per diabetic patient per year versus 500 pounds on average for a non-diabetic member of the population in health service costs. Investment now in good quality diabetes care is sound: patients will benefit from a better quality of life associated with a reduced incidence of the complications of diabetes and the direct costs to the health service in treating these complications and the indirect costs to employers will be reduced. Physical and clinical assessments--measurements of blood glucose and glycosylated haemoglobin concentrations, weight, and blood pressure and assessment of eyes, kidneys, feet, and heart--are clearly important, but quality must include consideration of people and their reactions to life and diabetes--a lifelong entanglement--for which much more support should be provided.
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