The number of people with diabetes in Croydon will surge by nearly 10,000 by the end of the next decade, a nursing group has warned.
The borough will see a 49 per cent rise in cases by 2030, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has claimed.
There are currently 23,147 known diabetes sufferers in Croydon, but that figure will increase to over 34,400 in the next 17 years, it said.
The rise comes amid a 40 per cent cut in district nurses, who are partly responsible for raising awareness of diabetes, over the last decade.
Bernell Bussue, the RCN's regional diferector for London, said: "It’s clear from what we’ve been told by nurses working in diabetes services in London that education is the key to all of this.
"We have to educate diabetes patients about how to better manage their condition; educate at-risk communities in order to stop the growth of the condition; and educate the whole nursing workforce to make sure nurses are confident in treating diabetes patients.
"But the evidence we’ve found of cuts to specialist posts is worrying. Specialist nurses are leading innovation in diabetes education programmes, particularly with regard to diet.
"Without the expertise of such nurses and their colleagues it will be much harder to get people to understand the role we can all play in preventing ill health and the impact poorly controlled diabetes can have on an individual, their families and their communities."
The RCN predicts diabetes will rise by 48 per cent to 710,000 in London by 2030.
The ethnic diversity of the capital makes diabetes more commonplace, as South Asian or afro-Carribean people are up to six times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than other ethnic groups.