GP practices have helped improve diabetes care in the NHS and more people are being routinely monitored for indicators of complications, according to a report published by the Department of Health (DH) today (20 August 2008).
The report, Five Years On, reflects on how well the NHS is performing against the standards for diabetes care set out in the National Service Framework (NSF) Delivery Strategy in 2003.
It says that, in line with the government's commitment to providing a preventative health service, the NHS is making particular progress in focusing more on prevention and in identifying diabetes earlier in people who were unaware that they had the condition and those at risk of developing it.
Around 600,000 people have been diagnosed with diabetes in the last five years, equivalent to 2,000 a week, and are now receiving the treatment they need to manage their condition.
However, as well as reflecting on progress made in diabetes care, the report also sets out areas for improvement.
For instance, the report acknowledges that more work must be done to improve outcomes for young people with diabetes. The DH says the Children and Young People Implementation Support Group is working to make progress in this area.
Health Minister Ann Keen said: "Today's report shows that the NHS is getting better and better at identifying people with diabetes and at supporting them to manage their condition.
"The Next Stage Review made prevention a priority for the NHS and this is especially relevant to diabetes, as a disease whose global increase in prevalence is partly a consequence of rising obesity.
"Our vascular risk assessment programme, Putting Prevention First, is expected to prevent thousands of people developing diabetes each year and our strategy to tackle the rise in obesity will help many more reduce their risk of the disease."
National Clinical Director for Diabetes, Dr Rowan Hillson MBE, said: "The NHS has responded impressively to the first five years of the National Service Framework. More and more people with diabetes are getting good routine care, and their outcomes are improving year on year.
"The next five years will continue to bring challenges for diabetes teams as they work to further improve diabetes services in both primary and secondary care."