Two-fold variation in patients receiving diabetes checks across England

Diabetes patients in some CCG areas are more than twice as likely to receive the recommended eight key health checks as their counterparts elsewhere in the country, experts say.

Just 30% of patients in some areas receive the eight checks (not including eye screening), compared with more than 75% of patients in other CCGs, according to 2012/13 figures revealed in a National Audit Office (NAO) report.

The report said around 22,000 people each year die from potentially preventable causes related to diabetes. In 2013/14, around 3.2m people aged over 16 had diabetes, with around 200,000 new diagnoses each year, according to the NAO figures.

Diabetes checks

In 2010/11 England spent around £5.6bn on diabetes, two thirds of which was linked to the cost of complications including blindness, stroke, amputations and kidney failure.

Head of the NAO Amyas Morse said: 'Our previous report on diabetes services showed that there was an improvement in delivering the key care processes that the NHS has identified as essential for diabetes patients. Data available since then shows that these improvements have been reflected in an uplift in long-term outcomes for these patients.

'However the improvements in delivery of these key care processes have stalled, as today’s report shows, and this is likely to be reflected in a halt to outcomes improvement for diabetes patients.'

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