Portsmouth GPs blasted for failing to give out vital diabetes data

Portsmouth GP practices are failing patients by not passing on diabetes data, say critics
Portsmouth GP practices are failing patients by not passing on diabetes data, say critics

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  • Only one in three GPs returned annual diabetes check, leading charity says
  • Campaigners say city’s lackluster response is ‘worrying’
  • City council health boss and Portsmouth South MP call for GPs to improve
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A CHARITY has hit out at the ‘unacceptably low’ number of GP practices in Portsmouth supplying crucial data on patients with diabetes.

Diabetes UK has launched a campaign to increase the number of doctors in the Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area giving information about patients’ annual diabetes checks.

These are very worrying figures for Portsmouth...

Raymond Hale, Fareham and Gosport Diabetes UK Voluntary Group

The deadline for this year’s data is August 12 and for the 2014/15 audit, just 34 per cent of the city’s GPs sent the data, which is used to help with treatment and research.

In areas covered by Fareham and Gosport CCG, 90 per cent of practices supplied the data, and in South Eastern CCG areas 70 per cent of GP practices sent the information.

The shocking statistics have prompted fear among health campaigners and Portsmouth South’s MP, Flick Drummond, who branded the figures ‘terrible’.

Jill Steaton, Diabetes UK south-east regional head, said: ‘The National Diabetes Audit plays a critical role in revealing which areas are meeting all treatment targets and carrying out all care processes, and importantly, which areas are falling short of this.

‘We are very concerned that such a small number of GP practices in Portsmouth are supplying this vital information. While doing so might present challenges for healthcare professionals and commissioners, it is absolutely essential that all GP practices provide this data.

‘It allows people with diabetes to understand how their local diabetes services are performing and what needs to improve.

‘As a matter of urgency the NHS leadership in Portsmouth needs to address the reasons behind the low participation rate of its GP practices.’

In Portsmouth, there are about 9,900 people with diagnosed Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The national audit records annual checks that should be monitored and met for all patients with diabetes.

It also assesses the effectiveness of diabetes treatment, including blood pressure measurement and eye, foot and blood glucose tests.

Raymond Hale, of Stubbington, suffers with the condition and is the chairman of Fareham and Gosport Diabetes UK Voluntary Group.

He was shocked by Portsmouth’s statistics and said: ‘These are very worrying figures for Portsmouth.

‘If people are not being checked properly every year then they could develop serious problems without knowing about it – everything from blindness, kidney failure and high cholesterol to needing an amputation.

‘It’s very concerning.’

Councillor Luke Stubbs is the cabinet member of adult social care and public health at Portsmouth City Council and feels more needs to be done by GP surgeries.

‘It’s disappointing that the numbers in the city are low and I would certainly urge GP practices to return the data,’ he added.

Mrs Drummond, who sits on the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes, was appalled by the city’s lacklustre response. She said: ‘It’s terrible. Diabetes can lead to amputation of legs. It’s a really serious condition and has to be treated very quickly.’

Mrs Drummond added she would be contacting the CCG as a matter of urgency.

Responding, Katie Hovenden, director of primary care at the CCG, said: ‘The CCG has recognised the low response rate from Portsmouth GP practices last year and we have been working with all our practices to encourage and support them to participate in this important national audit.

‘We are pleased the majority of practices have already submitted their data for this year’s audit and we fully expect the remaining Portsmouth practices will have done so by the deadline.’