Diabetes diagnosis rates driven up by GP practices

Practices in England are closing the gap between detected cases of diabetes and true levels of disease, QOF data suggest.

Public health observatories have estimated diabetes prevalence in England, including undiagnosed cases, at 3.1 million in 2010. This increased by 64,881 between 2009 and 2010.

But the number of patients recorded as having diabetes on English QOF registers grew more than this - by 117,124 - between the financial years 2009/10 and 2010/11. This suggests GPs in England diagnosed and recorded around 52,000 more diabetes cases last year than would be expected from increases in prevalence alone.

Achievement of points for diabetes indicators within the QOF rose from 95.2 to 96.1 per cent in 2010/11.

Commenting on the growing prevalence, Baroness Barbara Young, Diabetes UK chief executive, said: 'The rate of increase of diabetes is growing with huge human cost and cost to the NHS. The time for action is now.'

She added that while rates of other conditions including cancers, heart disease and stroke are steady or declining, the growing 'epidemic' of diabetes continues to accelerate.

'We must reverse this trend if more people are not going to suffer unnecessarily and if diabetes is not going to bankrupt the NHS. Around 10 per cent of NHS spending goes on diabetes and its complications; this equates to £9 billion per year or £1 million an hour.'

There are currently 17 indicators for diabetes worth 92 points - almost a tenth of the £1 billion QOF funding.

GP negotiators are due to begin talks over next year's QOF by the end of 2011. The 'menu' of indicators for consideration includes an offer of structured education and a dietary review for patients with diabetes.

QOF data for Scotland and Wales in 2010/11 has yet to be released but Diabetes UK has estimated that cases diagnosed by practices UK-wide will have increased by 130,000 compared with the previous year.

Stephen Robinson

GP Online recommends

Latest QOF data released

Read more

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Rebuild GP campaign logo

Hundreds of GPs sign open letter highlighting 'decades of neglect' of general practice

Hundreds of GPs have signed an open letter to patients warning that 'decades of neglect'...

Dr Farah Jameel

PCNs are 'existential threat' to GP independent contractor model, BMA warns

The BMA's England GP committee has warned that PCNs pose an 'existential threat'...

Houses of Parliament

GP partnerships 'like collapsing Jenga stack' after Javid threat to nationalise practices

Sajid Javid's decision to back a report calling for the end of the GMS contract within...

£20 notes spread out

VAT trap for PCNs could strip millions of pounds from general practice

Tens of millions of pounds could be stripped from general practice because work carried...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Is the BMA representing GPs effectively, why GPs face a pension tax hit, and views on the workload crisis

In our regular news review the team discusses representation of GPs, a new survey...

Man sleeping

NICE guidance on insomnia backs app to replace sleeping pills

Hundreds of thousands of people with insomnia could be offered treatment via a mobile...