Clinical DESs agreed in Scotland

Four directed enhanced services (DESs) worth £12,000 for the average practice have been agreed in Scotland.

The bulk of the £12.6 million funding will go towards a DES for a cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk register, with further enhanced services for health carers, cancer referral and services for adults with learning disabilities.

The CVD DES will be worth a total of £8 million, which translates to approximately £7,600 per average-sized GP practice in Scotland.

The aim of the DES is to compile a complete national dataset of at-risk patients including factors such as BP and smoking status. Practices will be rewarded for engagement and achievement.

The £1 million available for the engagement payment will be distributed to participating GP practices on the basis of the practice's share of people aged between 45 and 64 years, as a proportion of the total number of registered patients in this age group in Scotland and will be paid next month.

The £7 million available for the achievement payment will be subject to participating GP practices gathering data on a minimum of 260,000 patients in the target group.

The enhanced service for carers will be worth £1,150 to the average practice.

It will be paid for producing and maintaining a register of people who are unpaid carers and for liaising with local care agencies and social services. This will need to be confirmed by the end of 2006.

To qualify for the £1,250 available for the cancer referral enhanced service, GPs will need to conduct a review of all cancer diagnoses in the past year.

The payment will be paid on the completion of the review and practices will then need to discuss the findings with their Local Health Board, with scope for further local enhanced services.

The DES for adults with learning disabilities is worth £2,000 to the average practice and will be paid on the completion of a register of patients with learning disabilities and ensuring liaison with other appropriate agencies, most likely through a nominated GP.

Dr David Love, joint chairman of GPC Scotland, was pleased with the DESs.

'I don't see why all practices shouldn't do these. They are clinically focused and target some of the most disadvantaged groups that we can be doing more to help,' he said.

AVERAGE DES PAY

- £7,600 for a cardiovascular disease risk register.
- £1,150 for a carers register.
- £1,250 for cancer reviews.
- £2,000 for a learning disability register.

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