GPs to screen 'all adults' for diabetes

GPs could be forced to screen almost all adults for risk of type-2 diabetes and offer blood tests to thousands of patients, under plans set out by NICE.

Blood tests: NICE advice to extend GP workload (Photograph: SPL)

The GPC hit out at the 'huge workload implication' that draft NICE guidance would have on the resources of already stretched practices.

NICE denied the guidance, which aims to tackle rising rates of diabetes, would strain workload.

Under the proposal, GPs must use a validated risk-assessment tool to identify all high-risk patients aged 25 and over. Practices would also offer self-assessment surveys to all non-pregnant adults over 25.

All those identified as high-risk should then be invited for a blood test to confirm risk or detect undiagnosed diabetes. The plan would also see GPs offer blood tests to all adults of south Asian or Chinese descent aged over 25 and with a BMI above 23kg/m2.

GPC prescribing lead Dr Bill Beeby told GP: 'At the sharp end there will be a substantial amount of work involved. We may not have the capacity or resources. We might be able to offer this opportunistically, but a systematic screening programme needs very careful consideration.'

A NICE spokesman said: 'The practice risk score uses routinely collected data that is included in all medical records. This is very little work - though it helps if records are up to date.'

NICE admitted there was 'very limited evidence' for risk assessment among adults aged 18 to 39 and that risk scores for this group should be used with caution.

Dr Beeby said: 'If the evidence is limited, why recommend it?'

Professor Mike Kelly of NICE said the guidance would help identify 'potentially thousands of people' at risk of developing type-2 diabetes and set out interventions to cut risk.

It comes as a University of Leicester study found that south Asians with a BMI of 23 to 28 were at similar risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease as white Europeans with a BMI of 30kg/m2.

A consultation on the NICE proposals will run until 9 January.

GP Online recommends

PLoS One Online 2011

Read more

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

Clinical trials: Microscope in a lab

GPs could be incentivised to recruit patients onto commercial clinical trials

GPs could be offered incentives to recruit patients onto commercial clinical trials...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: How many GPs do we need for safe general practice, pay restoration, the state of premises

Talking General Practice looks at safe working limits and the number of GPs we need...

Stethoscope and a computer

EMIS to keep panic button after outcry from GPs

EMIS, one of the main GP IT system providers, has backtracked on plans to phase out...

Health minister Lord Markham

Health minister Lord Markham: How we will support GPs to offer patients greater choice

Health minister Lord Markham explains what the government's plans for using the NHS...

Patient receives the flu vaccine

Flu vaccination campaign to return to pre-pandemic cohorts this year

This year's flu vaccination campaign is set to be reduced after it was expanded during...

Plant-based diet

Vegan and vegetarian diets can play key role in reducing cardiovascular risk, study finds

Plant-based diets can play a significant role in lowering the risk of stroke and...