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'Worrying' report reveals failings for diabetics

Blood pressure targets for people with diabetes are not being met in all areas of the country, a report has shown. 

The Health and Social Care Information Centre's (HSCIC) latest National Diabetes Audit shows over 1.2 million patients had not met the blood pressure target of less than 140/80. 

Half of the clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and local health boards (LHBs) in the country did not meet the target. 

Some CCGs and LHBs were able to meet the target in 53% of cases, but in others it was less than 44% of cases. 

The audit, which pulls data from 88% of GP practices in England and Wales, found that on average, over half of patients (58%) with type 1 diabetes did not receive all relevant checks. 

In the best performing areas, over 75% of people are getting the checks, however. 

Younger patients were less likely than older patients to receive all of the annual checks. 

And for all patients with diabetes, blood pressure targets wer achieved in 48% of cases. 

Dr Bob Young, clinical lead for the audit, said: “Today's audit shows how much scope there is for reducing heart disease and stroke in people with diabetes by achieving the blood pressure treatment target more often.”

Diabetes UK chief executive Barbara Young said: “It is concerning that there is still a considerable variation in the percentage of people getting the checks they need to help them manage their condition. If the NHS in one area can achieve this then why can't it do so in others?

“While there is some good news in the increase in the proportion of people who are managing their condition, this is increasing much too slowly and, alarmingly, the proportion of people with diabetes who meet the recommended level for blood glucose levels has gone down. This is hugely worrying, as having high blood glucose levels over a long period of time increases a person's risk of health complications that have a devastating impact on people's quality of life and are extremely expensive to treat.”