IN-DEPTH: East Lindsey’s high rates of diabetes

Heat map showing the high levels of prescription drugs handed out in East Lindsey and South Holland. Source: EXASOL
Heat map showing the high levels of prescription drugs handed out in East Lindsey and South Holland. Source: EXASOL
  • East Lindsey second highest for prescribing drugs to deal with Type 2 diabetes

East Lindsey has been named as the second-highest area for the prescription of Type 2 Diabetes medications, according to new data.

The data, released by analytics company EXASOL, shows that East Lindsey is second in the listof 326 districts in England, with regards to the number of Type 2 Diabetes prescriptions, behind Newham in London.

“We have a high level of diabetes in this part of the country; this is in part because we have a high level of obesity, but is also because we have an older population, many of whom have moved into our region bringing their diabetes with them.”

Dr Peter Holmes, GP and chair of Lincolnshire East Clinical Commissioning Group

South Holland district is narrowly in third place, meaning that two of the top three districts listed are in Lincolnshire.

West Lindsey was listed in 20th place, North Kesteven in 30th, North Lincolnshire in 31st, South Kesteven in 37th, North East Lincolnshire in 44th, and Boston in 55th place.

The data captures every 
GP prescription dispensed at all pharmacies across England, and runs for six years from August 2010 through to July 2016.

According to the data, displayed in heatmap graphics, there has been a drastic increase in Type 2 Diabetes sufferers over this period.

In 2011, there were 26 million prescriptions across England, which rose to 35 million prescriptions by 2015 - a rise of approximately one third (33 per cent).

EXASOL’s data shows that there is now expected to be 5,000,000 Type 2 Diabetes diagnoses in 2020 - five years sooner than previously thought - and was described in the research as an ‘epidemic’ which is ‘worse than previously thought’.

The data also shows that, in the first six months of 2016, the number of prescriptions of Type 2 Diabetes medications was already up by more than 8 per cent compared to the same period the year before.

Sarah Fletcher, CEO at Healthwatch Lincolnshire, said it is ‘concerning’ that we have such high levels of diabetes in the county.

She said: “Eating a healthy diet, keeping weight to sensible levels, and taking plenty of exercise all help to avoid getting the disease.

“Sadly, for some areas, in Lincolnshire for instance, it seems more people need to be listening to the advice being given by their families, doctor or others in their community.”

Sarah continued: “Patients should be much more aware of the serious additional health problems that can come with an illness such as diabetes.

“The cost of treating patients with long term conditions like diabetes is becoming a serious burden on our health service.

“Quite rightly, our health service in Lincolnshire spend a great deal on prescribed medication to help people manage their health, stay well and live longer, but with this right, comes responsibilities and perhaps it’s time we as patients should help our NHS to help us.”

Dr Peter Holmes, GP and chair of Lincolnshire East Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We have a high level of diabetes in this part of the country; this is in part because we have a high level of obesity, but is also because we have an older population, many of whom have moved into our region bringing their diabetes with them.”