Lowers HbA1c
by one per cent
Evidence base
For the NHS
by the NHS


What is an Audit for DESMOND?

An audit is a review of all of the DESMOND activities that have been provided over a certain period of time.

Why Audit?

Auditing helps us to identify trends and differences from our Sites providing DESMOND. We can use monthly figures to see how DESMOND is doing across the nation; what is working in one Site, what is not in another so we can support and implement changes to help DESMOND grow and provide the best self-management diabetes education for the diabetes population. Auditing is also a key criteria of the national standards for diabetes structured education programmes.

Benefits of Auditing at DESMOND

There are many benefits of auditing, especially for us at DESMOND.

  1. The diabetes population is ever growing so we need to make sure that we are able to provide the best education possible for our patients and our monthly audit figures will help showcase that the number of our DESMOND Sites are growing and Commissioners believe in the DESMOND approach of diabetes education.
  2. At Local and National levels, Sites can see how they are performing and overall we can get a bigger picture of how DESMOND is doing across the nation. We can then make any changes or improvements to existing controls and practices and remain a top competitor for diabetes education.
  3. Doing what we say we will do. Facts and figures will put confidence in our existing and upcoming Sites, patients and Commissioners that we are delivering DESMOND and we are performing well or better than expected. This will show that we are credible and help our reputation to grow even more.
  4. As we are getting new Sites signing up, we can look at audits to plan better financially for the future and create a more realistic budget for the upcoming year.
  5. Figures from audits can help with future commissioning and bringing in new business
  6. Patient outcomes; see how our patients are doing before attending DESMOND, what impact DESMOND has had after 6 months and then after 12 months.
  7. Making sure we are compliant with statutory and mandatory obligations such as GDPR, Information Governance regulations.

What Audits do DESMOND carry out?

In this article you will learn about the two Audits that we carry out here at the DESMOND National Office and how they complement each other and will help provide a detailed picture of the current DESMOND landscape:

1. Site Activity Audit

At the beginning of each month an automated email from Redcap, our database system, is sent to one coordinator (or designated recipient) from each local DESMOND provider/site, requesting the following minimum core data-set:

  1. No. of referrals received in the last month
  2. No. of courses run in the last month
  3. No. of patient attendees in the last month
  4. No. of DNAs/declines
  5. Did you offer the digital version – MyDESMOND?

It is a very quick and easy process to complete. You will need to click on the link within the automated email and complete all necessary fields.

Please note that if your coordinator leaves the organisation, we will need to be notified with the above information for your new Coordinator so we can update this on Redcap and the new Coordinator will get the monthly notifications.

If you have submitted a monthly returns and you need it amended, you should see a message at the bottom of the page on Redcap, informing you to contact the DESMOND administrator on 0116 258 8989 or by email on desmondnationalprogramme@uhl-tr.nhs.uk. We will change this for you.

Data is stored on the University of Leicester’s (UofL) secure servers on behalf of the DESMOND National Office (based at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust [UHL]). Access is limited and securely administered in accordance with the relevant UHL and UofL privacy and GDPR policies. All data for this audit shared by your organisation is anonymised.

Sites will then receive annual feedback based on the information received by DESMOND National Office.

2. Patient Audit

We are gathering a range of patient data to help us to provide more rigorous real-world evaluation of our programme. This means asking patients a set of questions before attending a DESMOND course and then repeating the same measures at 6 and 12 months after attendance. We do this by providing interested sites (we would like all sites to take part in the future!) with a box of questionnaire packs. There is 100 questionnaire packs in one box.

The questionnaire packs contain:

  • A covering letter to the patient from DESMOND National Office
  • A form to gather contact information and self-reported biomedical data (date of diagnosis, HbA1c, BP, cholesterol, weight, etc.), medication history and smoking status (Note: This is covered by GDPR and all patients are asked to provide written consent)
  • A set of three validated quality-of-life questionnaires (PAID, PAM and WBQ-12)
  • Freepost return envelope direct to Desmond National Office

Sites are advised to send the questionnaire packs to patients with their booking confirmation letter and Preparing for DESMOND leaflet – that way they can be completed prior to the patient attending DESMOND.

Once patients have completed their pack, they are asked to return it to DESMOND National Office in the freepost envelope. DESMOND National Office will contact the patient directly 6 and 12 months after receipt of the initial pack. We provide patients with 2 options for receiving the questionnaires at both points; by post or an automated survey from Redcap. The patients can opt-out at any point by contacting DESMOND National Office.

We will use the information provided in a manner that conforms to the General Data Protection Regulation and which is supported by the Data Protection Act 2018. We will endeavour to ensure information is accurate and up to date, and that it is kept for no longer than is necessary.

All data collected will be entered and stored on secure servers. Anonymised reports will be created from the data to better understand the impact of DESMOND and inform future service delivery. These anonymised reports may be shared through publication in relevant health or medical journals and/or with NHS England and local providers of the DESMOND programme. This is to ensure that NHS England and local healthcare providers can evaluate and plan the best way to provide care for people with Type 2 diabetes as part of service evaluation.

To conclude, the Site Activity Reporting is an automated monthly email to each Site to provide the key five data-points. And the National Patient Audit is to collect patient self-reported data before attending DESMOND and 6 and 12 months thereafter.

If you want to book some time in with us to discuss the above, if you need further guidance or have any questions feel free to contact us here at the National DESMOND Office.

How to get involved

If you are already a DESMOND Site and you want to take part in the Site Audit email us at DesmondNationalProgramme@uhl-tr.nhs.uk with the following information:

  • A name of your Coordinator to liaise with
  • What your local Coordinator’s primary contact role is eg coordinator/admin/educator
  • Your coordinator’s email address
  • Telephone number (and alternative contact number if any)
  • Preferred contact times should we need to get in touch
  • Full postal address

If you want to take part in the Patient Audit email us at DesmondNationalProgramme@uhl-tr.nhs.uk with a name and full postal address and we will send you a box of questionnaire packs.


We hope that you will support us in this work and if you have any further questions about this, please contact us on 0116 258 8989 or by email at DesmondNationalProgramme@uhl-tr.nhs.uk

If a patient asks you questions about the packs at a DESMOND course and the above does not help you to answer their question, ask them to call us on 0116 258 8989/8923 for further clarity.