There is good evidence that tight glycaemic control significantly improves outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes. All practice nurses will be looking to achieve the new General Medical Services contract (GMS2) targets for HbA1c reduction in diabetes (see box). Practices will be developing prescribing strategies to achieve this reduction, in accordance with good clinical practice. Metformin offers an important first-line therapy for type 2 diabetes. The introduction of a new, sustained-release formulation – Glucophage SR – should improve patient compliance with metformin and so improve glycaemic control.