GPs urged to improve diabetes checks
General practices should review their processes to improve completion of annual check-ups among their diabetes patients, according to the latest National Diabetes Audit.
The report found that although the proportions of patients receiving all nine annual checks went up slightly in England and Wales in 2010-2011, too many patients are still not receiving optimal care and there is wide variation among PCTs.
Overall, just over half (54%) of patients in England had all nine checks, up 3% on the previous year, while three out of five (60%) patients in Wales were recorded as having received all nine care processes, up 2%.
But in one PCT, only 16% of patients received all nine annual checks, while at the other end of the scale one PCT reported 71% of patients had received all their checks.
The findings also revealed the younger patients under 55 years of age were less likely to receive their annual checks than older patients, as were patients with type 1 than type 2 diabetes. In England, 59% of patients with type 2 diabetes aged 55 or older had all nine checks compared with 47% of those under 55. And while 52% of type 1 diabetes patients in the older group had all nine check-ups, only 33% of under-55s had all of their checks.
Corresponding rates in Wales were 64% versus 53% for patients with type 2 diabetes and 53% versus 33% for type 1 diabetes patients.
Dr Bob Young, clinical lead for the NDA, commented: "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."
GP News is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012
By Caroline Price