Quality of care for people with diabetes in England and Wales, 2009-10

Map of regions participating in this audit

The National Diabetes Audit reports on the quality of care for people with diabetes.

Clinical question:

What is the standard of diabetes care delivered by the NHS in England and Wales?

The report looked at patient registrations, care processes, treatment targets and rates of complications.  Data were derived by surveying GP practices and health authorities.

The evidence:

Overall prevalence

In 2009-10, 4.35% of the NHS-registered population of England had diabetes, up from 4.13 % in 2008-09.  Of these, 0.40% had type 1 diabetes and 3.87% had type 2.  Prevalence was higher in men than in women.

Regionally, prevalence was highest in the West Midlands SHA (4.75 %) and lowest in South Central SHA (3.82 per cent).

In Wales the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes was 4.94%, up from 4.67% in 2008-09.

Care processes

In England, 31.9% per cent with type 1 diabetes and 52.9% per cent of people with type 2 received all nine care processes. The overall proportion was 50.1%.  In Wales, the overall figure is 56.6%.


In England, the UK Guideline target HbA1c of ≤7.5 % (59mmol/mol) target was met by 66.5% of measurements from people with type 2 diabetes but only 28.2% of the measurements from people with Type 1. In Wales, the comparable figures were 68.1% and 24.3% respectively.

Prevalence, care processes, treatment outcomes and complications rates are also analysed by type and duration of diabetes, treatment type, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, body weight and time.

Appraisal hints

Users of this research should consider:

  • Data was submitted by < 80% of GP practices.  However, data was included for 81.1% of the 2.34 million people aged 17 years and
    over with diagnosed diabetes reported by the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF).  Note also that participation was up from previous years.
  • It seems that there was regional disparity in the response rate, and whether representative data was submitted from your area.
  • There was evidence of substantial variations from one area to another.
  • Although some media reports focused on the high proportion of patients not receiving optimal care, most of these measures were improved compared with previous audits.


Key findings about the quality of care for people with diabetes in England and Wales, Report for the audit period 2009-2010.  The NHS Information Centre, Feburary 2012. Get the:


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I am an information scientist with an interest in making knowledge from systematic research more accessible to people who need it. This means you. I've been attempting this in the area of Evidence-Based Health Care since 1995. So far the results have been mixed. For some reason we expected busy clinicians to search databases and appraise papers instead of seeing patients. We also expected publishers to make the research freely available to the people who paid for it.. Ha! Hence The National Elf service.

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