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Falling achievement of National Diabetes Audit targets

The National Diabetes Audit collects data from GP databases in England and Wales and, historically, has helped GPs benchmark their diabetes care against other GP practices. The latest audit data have been disappointing. The number of people with diabetes who received all eight annual processes of care has fallen to its lowest level since recording began 6 years ago. The proportion of people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes receiving all eight NICE-recommended care processes was 38.7% and 58.7%, respectively.

By Colin Kenny, GP, Dromore


The National Diabetes Audit (NDA) is an important survey conducted by the NHS’s Health and Social Care Information Centre that examines how many of the people with diabetes in England and Wales have the eight agreed care processes in diabetes fulfilled successfully. The 2014–15 audit found that less than two-fifths of people (38.7%) with type 1 diabetes underwent all of the eight tests recommended by NICE during the year. For type 2 diabetes the equivalent proportion was less than three-fifths (58.7%). These figures are the lowest since the NDA began in 2010.

The NDA also found that there has been a small rise in treatment target achievement rates (HbA1c, blood pressure and cholesterol). However, there remains room for improvement in the number of people meeting all three targets: 18.9% of those with type 1 diabetes and 41.0% of those with type 2 diabetes. It is also important to note that the number of GP practices participating in the audit is in rapid decline, down from 70% in 2012–13 to 57% in 2014–15. This may reflect the increasing administrative burden falling on UK general practices.


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