WQ90992 (e) Tabled on 02/02/2024

Will the Minister clarify why the national diabetes audit data for Wales, unlike data in England under the same audit, is released annually instead of quarterly and is available only at the health board level instead of the GP cluster level?

Answered by Minister for Health and Social Services | Answered on 07/02/2024

The National Diabetes Audit is a clinical audit programme run jointly with NHS England. The reporting requirements of the audit reflect the different needs of the respective health systems. There is no requirement for the Welsh NHS data to be reported quarterly because the information is already available monthly within the national digital system called the Primary Care Information Portal. The Portal presents benchmarked data on diabetes care quality at cluster level, health board level and nationally to NHS services. Our policy intention is to move towards publicly available data at GP practice level in the medium term.

Participation rates during the 2022-23 data period fell in Wales due to a change in the legal basis that required and permitted sharing of this data for clinical audit purposes. Previously the clinical audit relied on approval from the Secretary of State for Health in response to a recommendation from the Health Research Authority to permit the sharing of patient identifiable information for the purposes of clinical audit. This legal basis came to an end in 2022-23. Agreement to an alternative legal basis between health boards and the audit provider (NHS England) was not reached in time for the data extraction to commence for Cwm Taf Morgannwg and Hywel Dda University Health Boards and in future we will ensure earlier engagement with health boards on any new legal basis for the sharing of patient identifiable information as part of clinical audit. This earlier engagement has already been planned with NHS England for the 2023-24 data extraction.

Health boards are responsible for applying the relevant duties and powers with regard to the sharing of this data for clinical audit. I cannot prejudge this decision. My officials are working with the audit provider to support them to recover participation for the next round of the clinical audit. In the meantime, the full set of 2022-23 data is available to every health board – including Cwm Taf Morgannwg and Hywel Dda University Health Boards – via the Primary Care Information Portal for the purposes of quality management of diabetes care.