Leading diabetes charity, Diabetes UK has revealed that the number of people living with diabetes in the UK has reached 3.9 million, the highest figure to date. The announcement coincides with the start of Diabetes Week.

According to official NHS data, there were 3,333,069 adults registered with diabetes in the UK during 2013-14, 125,000 more than the previous year. The data shows that during the same period there were around 590,000 people living with undiagnosed type two diabetes.

Diabetes costs the NHS an estimated £10 billion each year, but 80% is spent managing complications including amputation, blindness and strokes, all of which can be avoided if the condition is properly managed.

According to Diabetes UK, there are 15 healthcare essentials every diabetes patient should receive, including blood pressure, blood fats, eye, foot and weight checks, and these checks can help prevent serious complications from developing.

The charity is calling on the NHS to ensure diabetic patients are better educated about their condition and the support they should receive from their healthcare team, in a bid to reduce the number of avoidable complications occurring in patients.

Michael Burrell, a senior clinical negligence solicitor based in Thompsons Solicitors’ Birmingham office, said: “Diabetes in the UK has reached unprecedented levels, and while many people are able to manage their condition and stay healthy, unfortunately some patients do fall victim to serious and life-changing complications.

“We have represented a number of diabetic clients who have lost a limb as a result of hospital failings and understand the devastating consequences poor care can bring.

“We join Diabetes UK in calling for improved education for both diabetes patients and the healthcare staff who care for them to try to drive down the number of people suffering avoidable complications.”