Criticism of diabetes risk assessmentBy Laura McCardle
July 10, 2012
A leading charity has criticised the low rate of people with diabetes in Berkshire West receiving all of the vital health checks recommended by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
Diabetes UK highlighted the figures published by the National Diabetes Audit (NDA) to coincide with its healthy lifestyle roadshow, which came to Reading on June 27 and June 28 offering free risk assessments and advice.
The Reading event helped 295 people in the area find out more about diabetes and discover whether they were at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes – where not enough insulin is produced.
The roadshow aimed to identify some of the estimated 6,900 of people in the Berkshire West area who have Type 2 diabetes but are unaware they do.
George Matthew, 54, attended on the first day of the roadshow and was identified as high risk.
He said: “I regularly visit my doctor as I have other health issues but have never been tested for diabetes so when I saw the big blue bus it was easy to just pop in to get some advice.
“Even though the results were a bit of a shock I think it’s always better to know and I’ll definitely tell my GP about my high risk assessment score at my next visit.”
Mr Matthew, of South Asian descent, added: “My father has diabetes but I didn’t realise that because of my ethnicity, I was six times more likely to develop the condition.”
Reading was the busiest roadshow location so far this year with the highest number of people – 153 – being referred to their GP for further advice as they were at moderate to high risk compared to any other part of the UK.
Diabetes UK says just 34 per cent of the estimated 16,365 people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in Berkshire West were undergoing all nine tests, including those assessing cholesterol, eyesight and blood pressure, compared to 64 per cent of people in Berkshire East and the national average of 54.3 per cent.
Diabetes UK says the recommended checks were vital in detecting problems early and taking any necessary action, such as blood pressure, kidney function and blood glucose tests. Dr Rod Smith, chairman of North and West Reading Clinical Commissioning Group (CGC), said: “Given our historically good position on diabetes we were surprised by the NDA outcomes.
“Nationally, Berkshire West also has average to lower rates of hospital admissions for diabetes-related complications linked to heart disease and foot amputations.
“We have therefore examined our position against the NDA results and are taking action mainly to improve the recording practice.
“We expect the next audit to show a much better performance and one that reflects a true picture of the support patients receive.
“The CGCs plan to work more closely with diabetes patients to improve care and help them make the necessary lifestyle choices.
“Actions already taken by NHS Berkshire demonstrate its commitment to improving care for patients with diabetes.”
A free Diabetes UK Risk Score test can be taken online at www.diabetes.org.uk/roadshow/riskscore1. If results are found to be at moderate or high risk of developing the condition, people should visit their GP.
For more information visit www.diabetes.org.uk