The reason behind lack of data must be examined

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VERITY LUSH: Unrealistic to think we can blanket cover moral issues

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Diabetes – and the problems and complications it brings – has historically been a problem in this area.

It’s only last month that we reported MPs concerns over the increasing rate of diabetes diagnoses in the Fareham and Gosport – a rate that was far greater than the national average.

In previous years we have relayed concerns that the rate of diabetes-related amputations is too high – again, particularly in Fareham and Gosport – and this, we know, was a subject that caused much action to be taken. Former Fareham MP Mark Hoban established a taskforce to look into it, and his successor Suella Fernandes and her colleague in Gosport Caroline Dinenage have also raised their concerns.

So, with this backdrop, our story today about Portsmouth GPs’ failure to give data about patients’ diabetes checks to Diabetes UK is worrying, whether we are talking about Type I diabetes – an autoimmune condition that is unrelated to a person’s lifestyle – or Type 2 diabetes, which is often caused by a poor diet or a gain in weight.

There are several possible explanations.

Firstly, as the charity’s fears are about receiving the information, it could just be an administrative failure. It could be, but one afflicting an entire city would be unusual, to say the least.

It could be that doctors do not believe supplying the information is important – but again, it is odd that while Diabetes UK has 34 per cent of what it needs from Portsmouth, it has 90 per cent from the Fareham and Gosport area.

Or perhaps it is a sign that Portsmouth doctors are more overworked than their counterparts across the region.

The fact remains that it is important that this data is supplied – it is used for treatment and research.

But it is also important that the reason for the gap is explored and solved. How many other types of medical data may not be passed on to the right place?

It’s not just the what; in this case, it’s definitely a case of asking why.

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