To mark World Diabetes Day Diabetes UK calls for this to change
Every day 65 people in the UK die early from diabetes and hundreds more will face life-changing complications, but education courses that could help address this are largely being ignored.
Only a 'small minority' of people with diabetes currently go on the potentially life-saving education courses, according to charity Diabetes UK.
It wants the government and NHS to take action and, as part of its efforts to mark World Diabetes Day today, says it wants to see at least half of patients to take part in the courses by 2020.
Diabetes UK's chief executive Chris Askew said: "Diabetes is set to rise dramatically in the next five years, so it is vital diabetes is more widely understood, and governments and health bodies listen and take action.
"Significant investment in diabetes care and prevention by UK and national governments and the NHS, begins to recognise the scale of the challenge. This needs to be sustained to provide enough effective care for everyone living with diabetes and tackling the rapid rise of type 2."
The charity says that diabetes complications, such as amputation, blindness, heart attack and stroke, can often be avoided or delayed if people with diabetes are supported to manage it well.
In addition to avoiding educational courses, Diabetes UK also says patients are often missing out on the vital health checks they are entitled to.
The number of adults diagnosed with diabetes in the UK has increase by more than 1.5 million or 72% in a little over a decade, largely due to a rise in type 2 diabetes.
Moreover, GP records show there are now nearly 3.6 million registered patients with diabetes aged 17 and older - an increase of 137,000 people in the last year alone.
The theme of this year's World Diabetes Day is 'eyes on blindness', a complication of the condition that puts 7% of people with diabetes at risk of losing their sight.