Word Diabetes Day 2015, which takes place annually on 14 November, seeks to raise awareness of diabetes and its associated risks.

This year’s theme focuses on healthy eating as a key element in the fight against diabetes, as it is estimated that up to 70 percent of type 2 diabetes cases could be prevented if people lived a healthier lifestyle.

Education consequently plays a vital role in both the prevention and the ongoing management of diabetes, with only 3.6 percent of newly diagnosed diabetes patients currently being given the opportunity to attend an education course on how to control their condition.

Ahead of World Diabetes Day, Diabetes UK has launched a campaign called Taking Control with the aim of ensuring that everyone with diabetes can access education courses to teach them more about managing their condition and prevent health complications, which can be devastating for patients and are hugely costly to the NHS.

The poor treatment and management of diabetes can lead to a number of short and long-term health problems, including heart disease, nerve damage, hypoglycaemia, vision problems and amputation.

Latest figures from Diabetes UK show that diabetes-related amputations have increased to more than 7,000 per year in England, equating to 135 amputations per week. Diabetes costs the NHS £10 billion every year, 80 percent of which is spent treating avoidable complications.

Michael Burrell, a senior clinical negligence solicitor based at Thompsons Solicitors’ Birmingham office, said: “Diabetes is a serious condition that requires close and regular monitoring to help prevent short and long term health complications.

“We know from our work with patients who have suffered complications as a result of their diabetes, the devastating consequences of poorly managed diabetes.

“It is vital that diabetes patients receive the right advice when they are diagnosed so that they are able to self-manage their condition and are aware of the care they should receive from their healthcare team. Diabetes is costing the NHS an astronomical amount of money every year and the government must ensure that the appropriate resources are in place to enable healthcare professionals to carry out checks that can help to prevent avoidable complications for diabetes patients.

Thompsons Solicitors’ client, Ian underwent a lower leg amputation after a series of hospital failings and the poor management of his diabetes.