Education about diabetes needs to be improved urgently to make sure patients understand how to look after themselves.
That is according to Jenny Hirst, co-chairman of the Insulin Dependent Diabetes Trust, who said that awareness of the condition is "patchy" at present.
She added that patients fully understand the disease in some parts of the country, while knowledge is lacking in other areas.
"It is improving, but there is a lot of confusion about the difference between the two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2," Ms Hirst explained.
"There has been information about the increase in amputations, which is a complication of diabetes. We find that very worrying, people aren't getting access to foot care early enough."
More than 2.6 million people in the UK currently suffer from diabetes and an additional half a million Britons are believed to have the condition unknowingly.
The majority (85 per cent) of diabetes patients in the country have type 2 diabetes.
Independent advice on private healthcare