This site is intended for health professionals only

We need GPs to reduce inequalities in diabetes treatment

I am writing in response to Dr Bill Beeby's article about the recent focus on the standard of diabetes healthcare in some areas (Analysis: a flawed audit is no basis for altering GP pay).

The stark fact is that there are variations in the standards of diabetes healthcare that are appalling and need to change. But where I really disagree with Dr Beeby is his suggestion that the National Diabetes Audit (NDA) is a ‘flawed survey' – actually, it is the largest clinical audit in the world. At this point I should declare an interest –Diabetes UK is one of the partners of the NDA – but it is precisely because of how robust the NDA is that its conclusions should form the basis of policy decisions.

And it is not as if it is just the NDA that is ringing alarm bells. Last year, for example, we did a survey of more than 7,000 people with diabetes and a quarter of them said they had not had a foot check in the previous year. We also talk to people with diabetes every day who feel they have been let down by the NHS.

This is not about criticising GPs. In fact, we need the help of GPs – as well as other health professionals – to convince the Government and the NHS of the need for change.

From Barbara Young, Chief executive, Diabetes UK