Thousands of diabetes patients are still missing out on tests to successfully manage their disease according to a recently published audit from the National Clinical Audit Support Programme (NCASP), part of the NHS' Information Centre.
The National Diabetes Audit, which involved over 1.7 million people with diabetes in England and Wales, found that in the period 2008-2009, just 50.8 per cent of those with type 2 diabetes and 32.2 per cent of those with type 1 diabetes received all nine tests recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical (NICE) as part of an annual review of a patient's diabetes management.
These figures are up from six years ago when the first audit was published, when only 10.6 per cent of type 2 patients and 11.9 per cent of type 1 patients received all nine tests. However, the latest figures are still below target levels recommended by NICE.
The tests include measurements of weight, cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as analysing a patient's urine, eyes and feet.
Commenting on the audit, NICE said these tests were 'essential' in controlling diabetes, with patients potentially developing serious problems if left unchecked.
The audit also found levels of diabetes are increasing year by year, with a 25 per cent rise in cases from six years ago. This could be down to a number of reasons including an actual increase, an increase in case finding, a change in recording accuracy or changes in the demographics of participating health economies.
Differences in age, ethnicity and socio-economic factors were found to be important in rates of diabetes for the type 2 version of the disease.
An abnormally high rate of Asians had type 2 diabetes, and prevalence of the disease in the most deprived sections of population in the UK was found to be 4.21 per cent, compared to 2.94 per cent in the least deprived.
Rates of type 1 diabetes remained consistent across age, ethnicity and socio-economic status.
An executive summary of the report can be obtained from the NHS' Information Centre.