Kingston failing diabetes checks target
Kingston failed to meet targets for delivering a health check that includes diabetes, which if left undiagnosed could cause blindness.
According to Diabetes UK during 2011-12 9.7 per cent of those eligible in Kingston were offered the NHS health check, which tests people aged 40 to 74 for risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and kidney failure.
Kingston was far from reaching the 18 per cent target and below the national average of 13.8 per cent.
Poor performance continued with just 2.9 per cent of people being checked between April and June 2012.
Diabetes UK said there were 2,800 people with undiagnosed diabetes in the borough.
Carol Barnshaw, chairwoman of Kingston Association of the Blind, said she has seen many people, some in their 20s, who had developed diabetes retinopathy after not having the condition diagnosed.
She said the condition was the leading cause of blindness of people under the age of 65 and was often picked up by opticians rather than doctors.
She said: “It is worrying even if you are delaying the onset or progress. People who do not get these checks are losing youthful sight.”
A Diabetes UK spokesman said: “NHS and local authority leaders in the area need to start giving this programme a much higher priority than has previously been the case. Urgent action is needed.”
A spokesman for NHS Kingston said plans were in place to increase the number of health checks and a programme was due to start in the next two weeks to provide an additional 1,500 to 2,000 checks this year.
The spokesman said: “It is unfortunate performance is judged more on the number of offers made rather than number of delivered checks.
“Our practices provide a large number of checks with an uptake rate of 79 per cent.”
Surrey was among the worst performing areas in England with just one per cent of those eligible offered checks during 2011-12.