Skip to main content
Creating a new NHS England: NHS England and NHS Digital will merge on 1 February 2023. Learn more.

National Diabetes Foot Care Audit

The National Diabetes Footcare Audit (NDFA) enables all diabetes footcare services to measure their performance against NICE clinical guidelines and peer units, and to monitor adverse outcomes for people with diabetes who develop diabetic foot disease.

2022 deadlines

The submission deadline for the data quality report has now closed and you should have received your data quality report.

There is no upcoming deadline for re-submitting data as we will not be publishing a report in 2023.

You can keep up to date and receive deadline reminders by subscribing to our NDFA newsletter

What the NDFA measures

This national audit enables all services that treat diabetic foot ulcers to measure their performance against NICE guidance, to monitor patient outcomes and to benchmark against peer units. NDFA has been designed to limit the burden of local data collection by making use wherever possible of data that is already collected from other sources. The NDFA looks at the following key areas:

  1. Structures: are the nationally recommended care structures in place for the management of diabetic foot disease?
  2. Processes: does the treatment of active diabetic foot disease comply with nationally recommended guidance?
  3. Outcomes: are the outcomes of diabetic foot disease optimised?

Who manages the audit

From May 2017 the legal basis for collecting, processing and holding data within the National Diabetes Audit Programme changed. Since then,  NHS England has directed NHS Digital to collect patient identifiable data for the audits from providers in England. Due to how the contract for the NDFA and collection/submission deadlines fall, it was decided to implement the changeover in August 2017.

The new legal basis for data to be collected by the NDFA (Direction under section 254 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012) will mean the submission of data for the NDFA audit will be mandated for NHS footcare clinics and specialist MDFT services in England. Therefore, primary and secondary health services which deal with diabetic footcare in England will need to work with NHS Digital to supply data from the treatment of their patients.

The National Diabetes Audit (NDA) is commissioned and managed under an agreement by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) on behalf of NHS England and the Welsh Government. The NDFA is delivered by NHS Digital (previously known as 'the Health and Social Care Information Centre, HSCIC'), in partnership with Diabetes UK and the National Cardiovascular Intelligence Network (part of Public Health England).

When to collect data

The NDFA is a continuous collection and data can be collected throughout the year. Data can be input at any time during the year into the online collection tool.

The data items to collect can be found in the NDFA Hospital User Registration Form .

A cut of the data is taken each year to include in the annual report, the audit team will announce the cut off date each year for foot ulcers to be included in the next annual report.

How to participate

1. Step 1: Identify an audit lead for your organisation or treating service.

2. Step 2: Start data collection using the NDFA Data Collection form

3. Step 3: Register all staff who will submit NDFA data by completing the NDFA Hospital User Registration form

4. Step 4: Submit data using the secure online submission tool  this can only be done by staff once they are confirmed as registered.


The NDFA 6th National Report in 2014 – 2021 has now been published. A PowerPoint version of the report is also available to download from the main page for the report. You can also access previous versions of the report

The audit has also recently released its first interactive dashboard, which provides service level data. This is also available from the main page of the report.

We would appreciate your feedback on any improvements that can be made to future dashboards and have added a link to a short survey on the landing page of the dashboard.

If you are interested in finding out more about the audit, please email the audit team at

NDFA Quality Improvement Collaborative

In 2018 and 2019 the NDFA was commissioned to produce a collaboration focussed on improving footcare. Twenty diverse teams came together to share ideas and explore areas of the footcare pathway.

This resulted in eight case studies from services in England and Wales.

ECG Diabetic Foot Ulceration pilot study

Each year in England approximately 60,000 people with diabetes present with diabetic foot ulceration (DFU). The 5-year mortality rate for these patients is around 50%. Peripheral diabetic neuropathy is present in almost 100% of these patients and is associated with a high death rate from cardiac events.

Nationally there was no routine process within DFU pathways to identify cardiac issues and to initiate further clinical action. NHS Improving Quality 

(an arm's length NHS body which has since become part of NHS England) set up a pilot to address this.

The pilot embeds into routine care, the provision of a 12 lead ECG for all new DFU patients attending the Diabetic Foot Clinic. The ECG is provided to the patient during their first appointment. The results of the ECG are then reviewed prompting further clinical action where necessary. This work marks a more holistic approach with Diabetic Foot Clinics focusing beyond the foot.

All patients in the ECG pilot must first consent to the NDFA. The pilot intends to cross reference NDFA data with national mortality data. This should identify whether patients within the NDFA who receive an ECG as part of routine DFU care have significantly different 1-5 year mortality rates compared to other NDFA patients.

The patient level information will be collected by clinicians and will undergo standard NHS Information Governance processes to protect the data. Additionally sites have sought local Caldicott Guardian approval as part of joining the ECG DFU Pilot. The sites will transfer the data via a secure data depot to NHS Digital.

If you have previously consented to be a part of the pilot study but now wish to opt out you may indicate you wish to do so by emailing referencing the National Diabetes Footcare audit ECG Pilot or calling 0300 303 5678 and asking to speak to a member of the National Diabetes Footcare audit team.

Making clinical audit data transparent

In his transparency and open data letter to Cabinet Ministers on 7 July 2011, the Prime Minister made a commitment to make clinical audit data available from the national audits within the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme.

The National Diabetes Foot Care Audit (NDFA) is a continuous audit of diabetic foot disease in England and Wales. The audit enables all diabetes foot care services to measure their performance against NICE clinical guidelines and peer units, and to monitor adverse outcomes for people with diabetes who develop diabetic foot disease.

What information is being made available

  • trust, service, and clinical commissioning group (CCG) audit participation and data completeness for the key fields.
  • measures about the process of care given to patients.
  • information about care outcomes and treatment.

These data do not list individual patient information nor do they contain any patient identifiable data.

Using and interpreting the data

Data from the National Diabetes Foot Care Audit should not be looked at in isolation when assessing standards of care.

Accessing the data

The data are being made available on the website. Each year a data file from the National Diabetes Foot Care Audit will be made available in CSV format. Trusts, CCGs and Networks are identified by name and their national code. Foot care services are identified by name and locally derived code.

Use of audit tools and documentation outside of the clinical audit 

You hereby agree that in downloading or using the documents or tools on this web page for any use outside of the project for which it was developed, you are entering into a royalty free, non-exclusive, licence agreement with the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership under the following terms and conditions:
All information, software, products and related graphics contained in the audit tool or data collection form are provided for non commercial purposes  "as is" without warranty, including but not limited to the implied warranties of satisfactory quality, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement of third party intellectual property rights. In no event shall HQIP be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special or consequential damages for loss of profits, revenue, data or use incurred by you or any third party, whether in action in contract, tort, or otherwise, arising from your access to, or use of, the audit tool or form. HQIP make no representations about the suitability, reliability, or timeliness, and accuracy of the information, software, products and related graphics contained in the audit tool or forms. HQIP reserves the right to make improvements, changes or updates to forms or tools at any time without notice.

Contact Us


Telephone: 0300 303 5678


Clinical Audit and Registry Management Service
NHS Digital
7 and 8 Wellington Place
West Yorkshire

Guidance for patients

Access the audit reports

User documents

Further information

Last edited: 27 September 2022 1:42 pm