FAREHAM and Gosport have seen the biggest increase in people being diagnosed with diabetes in the south east.
Latest figures show 10,138 people in the area were found to have the condition in 2013-14. This is an almost eight per cent increase in 2012-13, where 9,347 people were diagnosed.
This compares with Portsmouth, which saw an increase of 2.7 per cent, from 9,255 to 9,678, and south eastern Hampshire, at three per cent, from 10,271 to 10,620.
The figures relate to both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes – however the latter, which is brought on by lifestyle choices, is more common.
But Dr David Chilvers, lead of the Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group, said the increase is a positive story.
He said: ‘This is a good news story for us.
‘We realised there were a lot of people living with diabetes, which was going unrecognised.
‘If we don’t diagnose it then we can’t help people with advice and medication.
‘This in turn leads to complications, resulting to amputations, which we know is a problem in this area. We have been doing more work to improve diagnosis so it can be better managed.’
The news has been welcomed by patient watchdog group Healthwatch Hampshire.
Manager Steve Taylor said: ‘Historically there is a problem with diabetes in Fareham and Gosport, so this isn’t a surprise.
‘But it’s positive more diagnosis work is being done as patients can be identified and treatment can be given sooner.’
Charity Diabetes UK is calling for better education to be given to people that are diagnosed with the condition, and how to manage it.
It gives the message during National Diabetes Week, which runs until Saturday, June 20.
Jill Steaton, south east regional manager at Diabetes UK, said: ‘We must get better at offering education to people who are living with diabetes and help them to manage this serious, complex and often overwhelming condition.
‘It’s crucial education is made available both at the point of diagnosis and beyond as the education needs of people already living with the condition can change over time.’