Living with Diabetes

National Diabetes Audit

What is the national diabetes audit and how will my information be used?

The NHS aims to provide you with the best diabetes care possible.  Information about your care is routinely recorded to ensure that we maintain a high standard of care and consistently meet your needs.  This information may also be used for national clinical audit.  The following will tell you what clinical audit is and how your information is used.

What is clinical audit?

Clinical audit helps health professionals to continually measure and improve their work and, therefore, your care.  They do this by auditing, or measuring, their work against specific standards.  Your care should follow the quality standards in the National Service Framework (NSF) for Diabetes.  More information about the NSF can be obtained from National Service Framework for Diabetes: Standards.

Based on the audit, changes can then be made to improve patient care.  Further measurements are taken to confirm improvements are being made.

What is the national diabetes audit for?

The national diabetes audit uses information about the diabetes care provided throughout England and looks at the quality of care people with diabetes receive.  The audit will help to improve diabetes services by:

  • Finding out whether you receive the health checks and support that help you to live a healthy life and prevent complications from diabetes.
  • Identifying and overcoming variations in quality of care throughout England.
  • Identifying good practice and sharing it with other diabetes services.
  • Checking that the NHS is following national guidelines.

How does my data help to improve care?

The health professionals caring for you will receive information about the quality of care they provide in comparison with similar care teams.  The results of the audit will help them to identify areas where improvements can be made.

As a result, you will benefit from improvements in diabetes care.  You will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you have contributed directly to the improvement process.

Will my personal details become available to others?

No.  The audit only requires your NHS number and not your name and address.  By using this number we are able to track your care across a number of organisations.  For example, this could include information from your hospital clinic as well as your GP.  Only the health professionals involved in your diabetes care will be able to see your NHS number.

Your care team will send the information to the NHS Information Authority, a special authority within the NHS, where it is securely stored.

The reports produced by the audit will only use anonymous data without your NHS number or any other identifiers.

Audit data is subject to strict rules of confidentiality as laid down by Acts of Parliament, including the Data Protection Act 1998 and Health & Social Care Act 2001.  The national diabetes audit was given permission to use and store your data in accordance with these strict regulations.

Can I choose not to participate in the audit?

If you do not want your information to be used by the national diabetes audit, please tell your GP or a member of your diabetes care team.  This will not affect your treatment in any way.

CHI information helpline

CHI is available to take calls from members of the public about the clinical audit programme in England and Wales.  CHI funds a range of clinical audits that help improve care for patients.

Telephone: 0845 601 3012 (all calls are charged at local rates).


The Health and Social Care Information Centre is responsible for co-ordinating the data collection for this audit, working with:

  • Diabetes UK
  • A group of professionals and patient representatives
  • Representatives from the Royal Colleges.

The audit is funded by the independent health watchdog, the Commission for Health Improvement.


Please note - Information contained on this page is from the NHS Information Authority.

August 2004