GPs have warned that a lack of communication between primary care organisations (PCOs) is undermining care of diabetic patients by preventing examples of best practice from being shared across the country.
Delegates expressed their concerns at a professional meeting for GPs at Diabetes UK's annual conference in Glasgow last week, and called for the charity to do more to encourage networking among PCOs and boost GP training.
Dr Brian Karet, diabetes lead for Bradford PCT, urged Diabetes UK to support clinical champions to promote better delivery and co-ordination of care.
Dr Roger Gadsby, a Warwickshire-based GP with a special interest in diabetes, called for diabetes networks to be set up, and warned that practice-based commissioning was harming diabetes care in his PCT.
'I have difficulties in my area because the PCT does not put diabetes high up on its commissioning agenda.
'I think there is a real opportunity for diabetes networks. They would allow practices to come together and share ideas.'
Leicester GP Dr Azhar Farooqi, a member of the Primary Care Diabetes Society, called for a better picture of what was going on in terms of diabetes care across England.
'There is scope for collecting better data. Diabetes UK needs to collect data on what is happening around the country.
'This will help the PCOs that are struggling to improve services.'
The concerns around data collection were echoed by Professor Jonathan Richards, professor of primary care at the University if Glamorgan and a GP in Merthyr Tydfil, who warned in a separate talk that the QOF had meant practices were now simply collecting data instead of doing proper audits of patients.
Phil Watson, a spokesman for Diabetes UK, said the charity planned to launch a Diabetes UK GP surgery network in June to improve learning and the sharing of ideas.
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