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PCOs fail to meet diabetes targets

Most primary care organisations have failed to make any progress on two key demands in the national service framework for diabetes, new research suggests.

The Diabetes UK-commissioned survey also found one in 10 has not provided specialised training for GPs or practice nurses in the past two years despite primary care's increased role in type 2 diabetes care under the framework.

Early identification of diabetes and patient education from the moment of diagnosis are both flagged as targets over the next decade.

But the survey conducted by independent research company Dr Foster found 65 per cent have no plans in place to target undiagnosed patients at high risk of the disease even though there are thought to be around a million in the UK.

In addition, 24 per cent of PCOs said they did not routinely invite people with diabetes to education sessions with a health professional. The figure rose to 52 per cent among primary care trusts in Yorkshire and northern England.

Dr Eugene Hughes, a member of the executive of primary care diabetes Europe and a GP in Ryde, Isle of Wight, said PCOs were prioritising the targets to set up registers of all patients with diabetes and to offer retinal screening to 80 per cent by 2006.

Most would await the National Screening Committee's ruling on which at-risk patients to target to avoid unnecessary work, he said. 'PCTs will sit and see what they say before starting because they might shoot themselves in the foot.'

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