Healthcare: On the agenda - NHS failing on diabetes care

In a nutshell

A report from the National Audit Office has found the NHS is not providing recommended standards of care for people with diabetes, resulting in 24,000 unnecessary deaths each year.

About the report

The report's authors examined performance against Department of Health diabetes care standards set in 2001. The care standards state that people with diabetes should receive nine basic care processes each year - such as blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol checks - to reduce their risk of related complications such as blindness and kidney disease.

Findings

Performance was poor, despite improvements since 2006/7. Half of people with diabetes received the recommended standards of care in 2009-10, up from 36 per cent in 2006-07. No primary care trust achieved the aim of delivering all nine care processes to all people, with the highest scoring 69 per cent and the lowest just six per cent.

PR strategy

The report was sent out under embargo and was followed with a press briefing. David Moon, NAO director and report author, was put up for interview. The top message of the report was tweeted and posted on Facebook and Google+. Barry Lester, the NAO's head of media, said: 'The result was a high level of accurate coverage, reflecting progress by the NHS and what needed to be done.'

Media coverage

Coverage appeared in The Independent, The Guardian and The Sun, as well as on Sky and the Today programme.

3.1m - Number of adults with diabetes in England*

£1.3bn - Estimated spend on care in 2009-10*

Source: National Audit Office

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