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GPs should be contracted to manage register of people at high risk of diabetes, says leading charity

GPs should be contractually required to manage a register of patients identified as being at high risk of type 2 diabetes, according to influential charity Diabetes UK.

In a report critical of ‘poor and patchy’ progress made so far with the Government’s flagship NHS Health Check programme, the charity said more needs to be done to identify people at high risk of type 2 diabetes and offer them intensive lifestyle interventions, in line with NICE guidance introduced in 2012.

The report said: ‘NHS England should mandate appropriate follow-up and management of people at high risk of Type 2 diabetes through the GP contract and the introduction of a register of people at high risk of diabetes.’

But it also said Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England needed to make it clearer who should commission lifestyle behaviour change programmes, as provision of these ‘is very patchy’.

The report was critical of the overall uptake of NHS Health Checks since PHE rebooted the programme last year, with latest data showing less than half of people have taken up the offer of the check-up. Only 6.4% of the eligible population has received a Health Check during the first nine months of 2013-14 – compared with the 11% needed over this period, if the programme is to reach its target of three-quarters of the 20% of eligible people each year over five years up to 2017-18.

Diabetes UK called for local authorities to ‘learn from each other and share best practice about how to increase the offer and delivery of NHS Health Checks to achieve the vision of 75% take up amongst the eligible population’.