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National Diabetes Audit Programme

The National Diabetes Audit (NDA) Programme was originally developed to help improve services and monitor the impact of the diabetes national service framework (NSF). Since 2011 the child (paediatric) component has been delivered by the Royal College of Paediatric Child Health (RCPCH).

The National Diabetes Audit Core Programme is made up of 4 modules. NDA data is published in a variety of formats including national strategic reports, dashboards and patient friendly reports 

Aims and objectives of the NDA

The NDA helps improve the quality of diabetes care by enabling participating NHS services and organisations to:

  • assess local practice against National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines
  • compare their care and outcomes with similar services and organisations
  • identify gaps or shortfalls that are priorities for improvement
  • identify and share best practice
  • provide comprehensive national pictures of diabetes care and outcomes in England and Wales

Through participation in the audit, local services are able to benchmark their performance, identify where they are performing well, and improve the quality of treatment and care they provide.

A Quality Improvement Toolkit has been developed in collaboration with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) to help practices use their diabetes data to improve services.

Diabetes UK manages Quality Improvement Collaboratives (QIC) which set local aims to improve diabetes care. Using audit data, specialist services work together with other providers to develop skills, share learning and improve clinical practice.

Access the NDA data

National diabetes data is now available via the Data Access Request Service (DARS). Full details of the process and how to apply are available on the DARS webpages.

Access the NDA dashboards

Our NDA dashboard hub provides links to a number of interactive data visualisation tools containing data relating to provision of care and services for people with diabetes.

Collecting patient identifiable data

People with diabetes should receive annual care checks and should achieve a target for their blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure values; see the NICE Clinical Guidelines and Quality Standards.

As a result, Core NDA, NPID and NDFA all collect patient identifiable data. This data allows patient records to be linked across the diabetes audit programme and to other health care datasets, such as hospital episode statistics (HES), patient episode database for Wales (PEDW) and Office for National Statistics Mortality dataset.

The NDA does not collect patient names. The patient identifiable data we collect is:

  • NHS number
  • date of birth
  • postcode

Linking to other datasets decreases the burden on services of entering the data. Demographics such as ethnicity, diabetes type and postcode recorded in Core NDA can be used for patients registered in NDFA or NPID so it doesn’t need entering twice. Data linkage allows us to understand the types of complications people with diabetes can experience. These linkages help us to give a better picture of diabetes care whilst managing the burden on services for data collection.

NHS Digital has strict criteria to make sure patient data is kept safe. All data is held securely upon encrypted servers. Access to patient records is restricted to crucial personnel. Once the data is received the datasets are pseudonymised to protect patient identity. This means that:

  • data items such as date of birth are converted to age, or year of birth
  • postcodes are converted to lower layer super output areas (LSOA)
  • NHS numbers are converted to a unique ID for that person

NHS Digital will only share patient identifiable data with another provider if they have a clear and approved legal basis to receive such data. For example, a research project that has Section 251 support, or consent from patients for us to share the data.

Management and governance of the audit

The NDA is commissioned and managed under contract by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) on behalf of NHS England and the Welsh Government. The NDA is delivered by NHS Digital in collaboration with Diabetes UK.

The NDA collection has been assured through the Data Standards Assurance Service (DSAS) process, with the findings presented to the national Data Coordination Board (DCB). The DCB acts with delegated authority from the Digital Delivery Board (DDB) and directly from Secretary of State as the main governance route through which data and standards requirements are agreed.

As part of this assurance the data items, collection process and guidance documentation have been reviewed and an assessed to understand the burden on services. The DCB have fully approved the NDA as a collection, awarding it a certificate of assurance.

The National Clinical Audit Advisory Group (NCAAG) has produce statistical guidance on how potentially outlying performance of healthcare providers can be identified. The outlier policy and the National Diabetes Audit Programme page summarises the policy and its impact on the National Diabetes Audit programme.

Contact us

For further information about the audit please email or call 0300 303 5678. Lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. For general enquiries please email


Further information


Last edited: 1 November 2022 5:08 pm