Category: statistics

How many people have diabetes in the UK? 2013-2014 figures

Here’s a table I wrote in Word, with footnote references, and I’ve copied and pasted it here and hope it all works… this just includes people over the age of 17 and those who are diagnosed and registered.

Nation Numbers of people >17 with diabetes
England 2,814,004[1]
Northern Ireland 81,867[2]
Scotland 259,986[3]
Wales 177,212[4]
TOTAL 3,333,069

[1] England: Cell M21 in tab ‘DM’ in QOF 2013-14: Prevalence, achievements and exceptions at region and nation level for England from Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) – 2013-14 (published 28 October 2014).

[2] Northern Ireland: Cell F14 in “Diabetes Indicator (MS Excel 77KB)”, from Achievement Data at Local Commissioning Group (LCG) Level 2013/14 (30 September 2014) . Previous QOF info.

[3] Scotland: Cell i20 in tab ‘by QOF register’ in file Prevalence reported from QOF registers (practices with any contract type) [xls] from Register and prevalence data at Scotland, NHS Board and CHP level, via Quality & Outcomes Framework (QOF), data for 2013-2014.

[4] Wales: Cell E15 in QOF data summary for Wales and local health boards, 2013-14 from StatsWales’ GMS Contract page.

More on the individual stats

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Quality and Outcomes Framework – how many people have #diabetes? (in Wales)

There appear to be 177,212 people with diabetes in Wales and there were 173,299 last year.

How I got that number
To find this figure I looked at StatsWales’ GMS Contract page, which has a long bullet-pointed list of options. I chose the QOF data summary for Wales and local health boards, 2013-14 spreadsheet which gave me, in cell E15, the number I was after (hopefully!).

Picking the right number
What about all the other numbers? There are many of them in that Excel file, however the intersection of ‘Wales’ (ie ‘all’) and ‘patients on register’ seems right, and it tallies closely with last year’s published figure, as well as being reasonably similar to earlier published figures. I was briefly confused by StatsWales’ Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) points by local health board and register which suggested a much lower figure of 47,058 but I realise now this is referring to points not people. Also cross-referencing this to a reference, in 2006, of there being 150,000 people with diabetes in Wales at that time made me realise I was barking up the wrong tree. But it’s easy to pick the wrong number from a range of numbers when you don’t know for certain which is the correct one, so always worth double-checking I think!

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Quality and Outcomes Framework – how many people have #diabetes? (in Northern Ireland)

There are 81,867  people with diabetes in Northern Ireland, as of data released on 30 September 2014. Last year it was 79,072.

QOF roundup (see links below for how I got these figures)
England – 2,814,004
Scotland – 259,986
Northern Ireland – 81,867
Wales – not got there yet

After my customary faffing about and looking in vain in what turned out to be the wrong place I eventually found the right place to start looking. Here’s the routemap to get there (obviously the last link will take you straight there, but like me you might do this every year and welcome instructions. I know I will this time next year 😉

To double-check / sanity check I took the number (81,867) and googled it + diabetes, and found an official-looking article that also suggested it was correct. Of course we could both be wrong 😉

Further reading
Statistical press release – Northern Ireland Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) Information 2013/14 (30 September 2014) Northern Ireland Executive

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Quality and Outcomes Framework – how many people have #diabetes? (in Scotland)

tl;dr – 259,986 according to 2013-2014 QOF figures for Scotland. Last year it was 252,599.


I’m foraging for figures from the QOF (Quality and Outcomes Framework) from the four UK nations and I’m very grateful to previous me for having left instructions on how to do this. Staring at a list of Excel files is fairly bewildering at the best of times. Here’s what I wrote in a note to myself, around this time last year…

“Data from 2012/13 QOF Prevalence Data, look for Prevalence reported from QOF registers (practices with any contract type) [180KB], file is called QOF_Scot_201213_Boards_all_prevalence.xls and in Cell I21 the number is given as 252,599.”

I’ve found that a better location to start is the landing page for all of Scotland’s QOF data which presents links to the latest figures at the bottom of the page with info on how to find previous ‘editions’ in the archive.

I chose the fifth link,”Register and prevalence data at Scotland, NHS Board and CHP level“, in the list and then “Prevalence reported from QOF registers (practices with any contract type) [180KB]” which opens up a spreadsheet with three tabs. Look at the third tab, “by QOF register” and the relevant info is in cell i21 – it’s 259,986 people registered with diabetes.

As always I tend to find that the figures listed in the annual Scottish Diabetes Survey differ slightly. Its landing page has the full listing of SDSes going back to 2002.

The latest SDS is 2013 data (I think it was published in July, but difficult to be certain without asking someone) and it reported that 268,154 people had diabetes in Scotland at the end of 2013. Clearly the numbers don’t match and the obvious thing would be that the SDS includes children whereas QOF is people over the age of 17. However that doesn’t quite work because there seem to be around 3,000 children with diabetes in Scotland. Hmm.

So the numbers don’t match… but I’ve decided to make my peace with that 😉

But if you can shed light on this… let me (@JoBrodie) know, thanks 🙂

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Quality and Outcomes Framework – how many people have #diabetes? (in England)


tl;dr – 2,814,004 people.


Every year the new ‘QOF’ figures are released in October. The figures have purpose A (used to pay GPs according to the number of patients registered at their practice and who receive certain care targets) but I use them for purpose B (how many people are registered as having diabetes?).

Generally it’s people over the age of 17 who are registered and it doesn’t tell you how many have type 1 or type 2 diabetes (but there are sensible guesstimates of around 10-15% have type 1).

Last year the figures, for England, gave 2,703,044 people with diabetes.

The new QOF figures were released on 28 October 2014 (for 2013-2014 data) and you can find all the files here http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB15751 – there are 23 files. I’ll save you the search, the relevant one is: QOF 2013-14: Prevalence, achievements and exceptions at region and nation level for England [.xlsx] ie the filename is qof-1314-prev-ach-exc-region-nation.

Once opened look for tab DM and you can see (in cell M21) that there are now 2,814,004 people with diabetes in England. If you disagree with me, do let me (@JoBrodie) know!

And now for the other nations… 🙂

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Newish diabetes statistics, apparently

The Daily Mail had a story today, about diabetes statistics, and I’m trying to get my head around it. The article seems to imply that there’s been some new study (has there?) or new figures released about the numbers of people with diabetes in the UK and now that number is over 3 million.

There are some recently published (March 2013) prevalence figures on Diabetes UK’s website but I’m assuming that they’re just the QOF [Quality and Outcomes Framework] figures that were released in October 2012. When I worked there I was actually in the team that updated this bit on the website, here are all the previous pages.

Diabetes prevalence 2012 (published March 2013, covers data from 2011 to 2012)
Diabetes prevalence 2011 (published October 2011)
Diabetes prevalence 2010 (published October 2010)
Diabetes prevalence 2009 (published October 2009)
Diabetes prevalence 2008 (published October 2008)
Diabetes prevalence 2007 (published October 2007)
Diabetes prevalence 2006 (published October 2006)

Before 2006 there wasn’t a QOF in place so there was no opportunity to use this as a diabetes register but if you want some earlier stats I have some here at DiabetesStatistics, in particular diabetes prevalence through the years.

The news report also suggests that there are around 850,000 people with diabetes and implies that this insight arose “according to analysis of official data by Diabetes UK charity and Tesco”. The 850k is a reasonable enough estimate but that figure has been widely in use for some time and featured in the 2010 impact report, so I’m not sure it’s an analysis of the current figures.

In fact, back in February I calculated the new diabetes totals for each of the four nations because I wanted to update my stats site (I’ve not done so as I found conflicting figures and wanted to find out more). It’s just a case of finding the right Excel spreadsheet for each of the nations’ QOF figures that matches to the number of people with diabetes, then adding them up. I’ve now published the draft version of that post: Trying to find this year’s QOF stats on diabetes – worked example

See also Gavin Jamie’s rather fab QOF (diabetes) database on his gpcontract website – you can navigate up and down tiers, looking at different years and different diseases as well as different nations. You can even drill into strategic health authorites, eg for England and then primary care trusts, eg London and then individual practices, eg all of those in Lewisham.

The story also appears on the following sites:
BBC News
Channel 4 News, which says “Researchers for Diabetes UK and Tesco found 132,000 people were diagnosed with the disease over the last year and a further 850,000 people are thought to have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes” – 132,000 is simply the difference between QOF totals for the UK between this year and last year, so this seems like a baffling statement.

Diabetes UK also implies that there’s been some new research or analysis, which I find a wee bit disingenuous – although maybe this reflects my lack of imagination in selling ‘research’ and ‘analysis’. I shall learn from this 🙂

The number of people in the UK who have been diagnosed with diabetes has reached three million for the first time, equivalent to 4.6 per cent of the UK’s population, according to new analysis carried out by Diabetes UK and Tesco.” (OK, but I’m pretty sure it reached it in October 2012 when the figures were published by the NHS Information Centre).

Snark and bafflement aside that’s still an awful lot of people with diabetes and it’s great that Tesco is going to raise some extra money to help tackle that.