A major NHS study suggests that more than 3,000 died because of a lack of diabetes checks resulting from the first Covid-19 lockdown. A move to a more remote form of healthcare delivery meant that crucial face to face examinations didn’t take place in the 12 months after the lockdown.
According to The Telegraph:
Those with the condition are supposed to undergo regular checks to detect cardiac problems, infections and other changes that could prove deadly.
But researchers said a move to remote forms of healthcare delivery and a reduction in routine care meant some of the most crucial physical examinations did not take place during the 12 months following the first lockdown.
Experts said the findings showed patients had suffered “absolutely devastating” consequences and were being “pushed to the back of the queue”.
The research, led by NHS chiefs, compared deaths last summer with those in the same period before the pandemic.
It found that, over just 15 weeks, non-Covid deaths among diabetes sufferers rose by 11 per cent, with an extra 3,075 fatalities including a surge in deaths from heart disease.
The study, led by Prof Jonathan Valabhji, the national clinical director for diabetes and obesity, links the rise in deaths to a fall in care the previous year.
It showed that, during 2020/21, just 26.5 per cent of diabetes patients received their full set of checks, compared with 48.1 per cent the year before.
Those who got all their checks in 2019-20 but did not receive them the following year had mortality rates 66 per cent higher than those who did not miss out, the study, published in Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, found.
The analysis only compared deaths in England for two 15-week periods, from July to October in 2021, to the same months in 2019 – meaning the true death toll is likely to be much higher, experts warned.
There were 30,118 non-Covid deaths in people with diabetes during the 2021 period, the research found. If take-up of checks had not fallen, there would have been 27,043 deaths – 3,075 fewer, researchers said.
Among such patients, deaths due to heart disease rose by 15 per cent, the figures showed.
More than 3,000 people with diabetes were killed due to a lack of vital healthcare services because the NHS dropped everything to deal with Covid-19, a mild respiratory infection according to Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty.
3,000 and that’s just diabetes.
What about the patients with cancer, heart disease, kidney failure, stroke or mental illness? How many of those people died because they were denied access to treatment? 50,000? 100,000? Half a million?