Target of 80% of all diabetes patients receiving all annual checks by 2018 "unlikely"

Only one in five patients with diabetes are getting all of their NICE-recommended checks in some areas.

The latest National Diabetes Audit shows 60% of UK patients with diabetes received all the NICE recommended care processes overall, but there was wide variation between CCGs in the proportion receiving all the checks - 20% of patients at the bottom end of the scale to nearly 80% at the top.

The figures suggest the government will struggle to achieve its goal of ensuring 80% of all diabetes patients receive all the annual checks by 2018.

The report, produced by the Health and Social Care Information Centre and DUK, called for poorer performing commissioners and providers to look at how top performers achieve their results and consider adopting new approaches to delivering care.

Over 1.2 million patients had not met the blood pressure target of less than 140/80 for the 2.3 million patients with diabetes in England and Wales whose blood pressure was recorded.

The audit records the three NICE recommended treatment targets that should be monitored and met for patients with diabetes which are glucose control, blood pressure and serum cholesterol.

Diabetes is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and most people with Type 2 diabetes have high blood pressure. Blood pressure that is not controlled properly increases the risk of heart attacks, heart failure and stroke.

The audit is the largest of its kind in the world and presents 2011-2012 findings for the care of almost 2.5 million people with diabetes, an 11% increase in participation on the previous year.

Key findings included:

- Diabetes was more prevalent in men than in women in each age group.

- Over half of patients diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes did not receive all diabetes checks and over a third of patients with Type 2 diabetes did not receive all checks.

- Younger patients were less likely than older patients to receive all of the annual checks. Just over one third of patients aged 20 to 29 years received all checks.

Dr Bob Young, clinical lead for the audit, said: "Today's audit shows how much scope there is for reducing heart disease and stroke in people with diabetes by achieving the blood pressure treatment target more often."

Read the full report.

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