Fewer than 10 per cent of diabetics offered full set of vital health tests

Tue, 21 Feb 2012
The NHS's National Diabetes Audit has revealed that in some areas of England fewer than 10 per cent of diabetes patients are receiving the full complement of the recommended diabetes health checks. If the figures of the audit are representative of care across the country, it would mean that 1.3 million people with diabetes in England are missing out on one or more of the essential health checks.

Clinical guidelines set by NICE recommend nine different tests are performed once every 12 months for adults with diabetes. The tests include HbA1c, cholesterol, blood pressure, two kidney tests, foot and eye checks, measuring of BMI and a check whether support to quit smoking is needed.

The Mid-Essex Primary Care Trust came bottom of the table but weren't the only PCT to provide all 9 tests to fewer than 10 per cent of patients with diabetes.

Screening tests are an important part of diabetes care and can help to detect the early signs of, and prevent, serious complications such as heart and kidney disease and lower leg amputations.

Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, Baroness Young points out that despite the large amount of NHS money that is spent on diabetes, too much is being used to treat the diabetic complications instead of preventing the complications from developing to begin with.
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