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14Jun

  • Younger patients less likely to have all checks, new figures show

Diabetes patients are up to four times more likely to have all their essential care checks depending on where they live in England and Wales, new figures reveal.

Today’s National Diabetes Audit report on care processes shows that while rates are improving, 36 Primary Care Trust (PCT) areas in England recorded fewer than half of their patients as having had all their annual GP checks.

In one PCT; only 16 per cent of patients received all nine checks, which include assessment of blood pressure, feet and blood sugar. At the other end of the scale, one PCT reported 71 per cent of patients receiving all their checks.

In Welsh local health boards, the percentage varied between 51 to 65 per cent.

The report also shows that younger patients below the age of 55 are less likely to have all of the checks compared to older patients.

The variation by region and age may partly be due to patients not attending appointments but may also reflect the amount of care provision offered in some areas.

The report is managed by the Health and Social Care Information Centre in partnership with Diabetes UK and commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership. It looked at care processes recorded by 83 per cent of GP practices in England and 49 per cent of practices in Wales between January 2010 and March 2011.

Key findings include:

England

  • Just over half (54 per cent) of patients overall were recorded as receiving all nine checks. This is a three percentage point improvement on the previous year
  • Nearly three in five (59 per cent) people with type 2 diabetes aged 55 and over received all nine care processes compared to 47 per cent of under-55s.
  • Just over half (52 per cent) of people with type 1 diabetes aged 55 and over received all nine care processes compared to 33 per cent of under-55s.

Wales

  • Three out of five (60 per cent) of patients were recorded as receiving all nine checks. This is a two percentage point improvement on the previous year.
  • Just over two thirds (64 per cent) of people with type 2 diabetes aged 55 and over received all nine care processes compared to 53 per cent of under-55s.
  • Just over half (53 per cent) of people with type 1 diabetes aged 55 and over received all nine care processes compared to 33 per cent of under-55s.

Dr Bob Young, clinical lead for the audit, said: “The small overall improvement is welcome but quite insufficient. The high performing localities show that this core essential care can and should be delivered much more reliably.’

The report can be accessed from June 14 at www.ic.nhs.uk/nda

Written and supplied by The Health and Social Care Information Centre

If you are concerned about diabetes care checks or have any questions about diabetes why not ask an expert in our online clinic on diabetes.

  

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