MORE than 8,000 people suffering from diabetes in Bradford city centre and its immediate suburbs are to be given a new health passport to ensure they get good quality care to manage the condition.

The passports will give each patient a personal record of when nine key annual health checks are carried out at their GP practice.

The scheme coincides with the second phase of the Bradford City Clinical Commissioning Group's (CCG) 'Bradford Beating Diabetes' (BDD) campaign, launched in November last year, which will see a further 42,000 patients considered to be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes receive letters from their GPs inviting them to attend a check-up.

So far, 2,144 people have attended specific appointments to have blood tests to help diagnose the disease, with almost 600 found to be unaware they were already living with the potentially fatal condition.

The health passports will be given to each of the 8,040 patients who have already been diagnosed with type 1 or 2 diabetes in the 27 GP practices that make up the City CCG area.

The tests, recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, consist of checks on weight, blood pressure, smoking status, blood glucose levels, kidney function, cholesterol, and eye and foot examinations.

They act as important markers which help to assess whether diabetes is being well-controlled, and are designed to prevent long-term complications such as amputation, blindness, kidney failure, and cardiovascular problems such as heart attack and stroke.

The City CCG has highlighted diabetes care and prevention as a major priority, and said it is working closely with local GP practices to increase the amount of diabetic patients receiving all the necessary checks.

Within the CCG, only 40 per cent of patients with diabetes were receiving the tests in May 2013, but the amount of patients now having a full annual review has risen to 65 per cent.

Dr Adeel Iqbal, GP lead for long-term conditions at the CCG, said: “It’s so important for patients with diabetes to keep up-to-date with these health checks as they can help them to manage their diabetes, stay well and prevent serious complications developing.

“People with diabetes in Bradford city can be confident they are getting good quality care and the passports will help us encourage even more patients to be aware of the checks and make sure they are receiving all of them each year.”

According to figures released in September last year, 9.1 per cent of patients within the City CCG were registered as diabetic, way above the national average of 5.8 per cent and above the overall rate for the Bradford district of 8.1 per cent.