Press release

PHE atlas highlights variation in treatment of diabetes and high blood pressure across the country

Healthier Lives is a new tool which shows mapped variation for LAs, CCGs and GP surgeries for diabetes, hypertension and NHS Health Check.

Man pointing at data on screen

Healthier Lives: Diabetes, Hypertension and NHS Health Check, a major new online tool from Public Health England, reveals large variation in the prevalence and treatment of diabetes and high blood pressure, and in the provision of the NHS Health Check across the country.

The interactive ‘heat map’ includes information on prevalence of the conditions and their complications, levels of care provided and the quality of care achieved in each area by local authority (LA), clinical commissioning group (CCG) and general practice, compared to the England average.

For example, the data from Healthier Lives shows that treatment targets are being met for only 1 in 3 people with diabetes. There are 3 treatment targets – controlling blood pressure (hypertension); blood sugar and cholesterol. Across the country nowhere is meeting all 3 targets well – the average is 36% and the best is 48%. Meeting treatment targets, alongside care processes such as foot checks, ensures that the disease is being successfully managed and reduces the risk of future complications such as major amputations. Approximately 120 people with diabetes have a limb amputated each week.

Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt said:

We know that diabetes can have a devastating impact on people and we want everybody to get excellent care and support, regardless of where they live.

This data will help doctors and nurses see at a glance where the problem areas are so improvements can be targeted. This will not only benefit patients but also help to save valuable NHS funds.

Professor John Newton, Chief Knowledge Officer at Public Health England, said:

It’s estimated that 10% of the population could have diabetes by 2034 and we know that there are already millions of people in the country with undiagnosed high blood pressure. We need to create a sense of urgency in dealing with these future health problems which are facing our communities. Healthier Lives has been designed to help local areas understand their local picture and improve services. As we said last week, the NHS has a big role to play but the underlying causes need attention as well.

Martin McShane, NHS England’s Director for people with long term conditions said:

A clear focus on the need for the prevention of long term conditions featured prominently in the renewed vision for the NHS in England, announced last week. A healthy lifestyle in adults at high risk of diabetes can halve the likelihood of suffering from the condition, but there is also a need for NHS England to support evidence based treatment shaped to support individuals. Healthier Lives shows just how much potential there is to improve the impact of these and similar preventive services across the country.


Notes to Editors

The Healthier Lives atlas shows mapped variation against the England average for diabetes, hypertension and health checks. The data allows people to see easily how their local authority, CCG and GP surgery are performing and how this varies across the country compared to the England average. Visit the Healthier Lives website for further information.

The NHS Health Check is an opportunity to engage 15 million people to live well for longer. Those aged 40 to 74 in England are assessed and enabled to take control over their own health, taking early action to reduce their risk of developing serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of dementia.

Estimates carried out when the programme was introduced by the Department of Health in 2009 showed that NHS Health Checks could prevent 1,600 heart attacks and strokes, at least 650 premature deaths, and over 4,000 new cases of diabetes each year. At least 20,000 cases of diabetes or kidney disease could be detected earlier allowing individuals to be better managed and so improve their quality of life.

Read the HSCIC National Diabetes Audit 2013

Public Health England exists to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities. It does this through world-class science, knowledge and intelligence, advocacy, partnerships and the delivery of specialist public health services. PHE is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health. Twitter: @PHE_uk Facebook:

Public Health England press office

Published 30 October 2014