Croydon’s NHS GPs have an “unacceptably low” number of practices collecting and supplying data about patents’ diabetes checks, according to a national charity.
The charity, Diabetes UK, is urging Croydon’s NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), to ensure that they all submit the information, which is vital to avoid patients suffering serious complications, before this year’s annual deadline on August 12.
Data from the National Diabetes Audit 2014-2015, which presents findings for the care of the 4 million people in England and Wales with diabetes, showed that only 24 out of 58 GP practices in Croydon submitted this essential information. That is below the national average of almost 60 per cent returning the data, putting Croydon among the worst CCGs in the country for participating in the audit.
The audit records annual checks that should be monitored and met for all patients with diabetes. It also assesses the effectiveness of diabetes treatment, including blood pressure measurement and eye, foot and blood glucose tests. These assessments are vital to identifying any problems early on, so that any necessary action can be taken, to avoid patients developing serious diabetes-related complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease and amputations which can lead to disability and even premature death.
In Croydon, there are 20,406 people with diagnosed Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes – 6.6 per cent of the borough’s population.
“Measuring the number of people getting essential diabetes checks, the NDA plays a critical role in revealing which areas are meeting all treatment targets and carrying out all care processes, and importantly, which areas are falling short of this,” Roz Rosenblatt, Diabetes UK’s London regional head, said.
“We are concerned that fewer than half of GP practices in Croydon are supplying this vital information. It is essential that all GP practices provide this data so that people with diabetes understand how their local diabetes services are performing and what needs to improve.
“These checks are designed to flag up the risk of complications that can be associated with diabetes, making it vital that we can monitor them accurately; until this happens people with diabetes, and the NHS budget, will continue to suffer the blow of devastating and costly complications that could have been avoided.”
Dr Agnelo Fernandes, the assistant clinical chair at Croydon CCG, said, “We recognise the role of the National Diabetes Audit in reviewing the care that patients with diabetes have received across the country and we are encouraging practices to participate in this. We will continue to locally monitor and benchmark services that we commission.”
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