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Huge variation found in diabetic care across England and Wales

Research has shown huge variation in the number of diabetic patients receiving their essential care checks across England and Wales.

Patients with diabetes are up to four times more likely to have all their annual GP checks depending on where they live.

A National Diabetes Audit report shows 36 PCT areas in England reported fewer than half of their patients had undergone all nine care checks, which include assessment of blood pressure, feet and blood sugar.

Despite the variation, PCTs in England and Welsh local health boards reported a 3% and 2% rise in the number of patients receiving the full number of checks overall to 54% and 60% respectively.

Percentages of completed checks for diabetic patients in England ranged from 16% in one PCT to 71% in another.

In Wales the percentage varied between 51 to 65%.

“The small overall improvement is welcome but quite insufficient,” said Dr Bob Young, Clinical Lead for the Audit.

“The high performing localities show that this core essential care can and should be delivered much more reliably.”

According to the data, younger patients below the age of 55 are also less likely to have all of the checks compared to older patients.

The report analysed care processes recorded by 83% of GP practices in England and 49% of practices in Wales between January 2010 and March 2011.