NHS expands offer of help to people with diabetes during coronavirus outbreak
People living with diabetes face a significantly higher risk of dying with COVID-19 with a third of deaths in England associated with the condition, according to new NHS research.
The health service in England has called on people with diabetes to access help available to them, including a new dedicated helpline and online tools to help manage the condition during the outbreak.
Due to be published this week, the world-leading studies reveal that people living with type 1 diabetes are at three and a half times the risk, and people living with type 2 are at double the risk of dying in hospital with the virus, compared to people without diabetes.
However, by far the strongest risk factor for dying with the virus is age, and people with type 1 diabetes are on average younger than people with type 2 diabetes.
Video consultations and online appointments, as well as routine discussions with GPs, are among a range of measures that the NHS has adopted so that diabetes care can continue throughout the pandemic.
A dedicated helpline has also been introduced, together with Diabetes UK, Novo Nordisk and Insulet, to advise those who need help with insulin. Find out more here.
The new helpline is part of a package of measures already in place for people with diabetes or at risk, including the world-leading Diabetes Prevention Programme, which has already successfully helped almost 90,000 people who were at risk of type 2, to lose a combined weight of more than 407, 967 pounds.
Patients will also receive additional support from online education services for type 1 and type 2 diabetes to help them to manage their condition better.
People with diabetes are also advised:
- If you are concerned about your diabetes during the coronavirus pandemic, the NHS is here to help. Contact your GP Practice or Diabetes team.
- If you have diabetes and have been contacted by your specialist eye or foot care team, please go to your appointments to receive treatment to avoid these problems getting worse. Clinics are taking extra protective measures to keep people safe.
- The 4Ts – toilet, thirsty, tired and thinner – are signs of a life-threatening diabetic emergency, diabetic ketoacidosis or ‘DKA’. If you recognise these signs, seek urgent medical advice from your GP Practice (or 111 out of hours); if you already have diabetes, contact your Diabetes team; or if you feel very unwell, call 999.
- If you have diabetes and see a cut or blister on your foot, it may be a sign of a foot ulcer. Call your GP Practice to get it checked as soon as possible. If you do have an ulcer or other serious foot problem, you will be referred to see a specialist urgently.
- If you are experiencing a serious or life-threatening emergency – call 999.
Read the full story from NHS.uk here.