Patients with uncontrolled diabetes could now be given an ‘information prescription’ by their GP to help them better manage their health and condition.

The scheme, launched this week by Diabetes UK, the NHS and private providers, will see personal action plans in simple, once-page documents issued by GPs if targets for blood pressure, cholesterol or blood glucose are not being met.  

Just 36% of diabetics currently meet all three targets, and it is hoped this new approach will help to ensure that patients are full equipped with information on how to get their condition under control and thus avoid potential long-term complications such as kidney failure and amputation.

“The personal cost to individuals and the financial cost to the NHS of diabetes complications are immense. Information prescriptions are a really positive development that will enable primary care to help people with diabetes better understand and take ownership of their diabetes, and so empower people to avoid developing complications in the long term,” said Jonathan Valabhji, National Clinical Director for Obesity and Diabetes.

NHS costs linked with diabetes are now fast approaching £10 billion a year.