DoH blocks extra quality points in obesity battle

Health secretary says the DoH will provide extra funds so the NHS can commission weight management services.

Dr David Haslam
Dr David Haslam

Expanding the quality framework domain for obesity will not help to fight the growing obesity epidemic, the health secretary has claimed.

Instead, the DoH will support the commissioning of more weight management services by providing extra funding over the next three years.

Speaking at the launch of the DoH's anti-obesity strategy in London last week health secretary Alan Johnson said: 'You don't have to incentivise GPs to look after obese patients.

'Lots of GPs will say that it makes no difference whether obesity is incentivised or not.'

Currently, the quality domain rewards GPs with eight points for producing a register of all patients aged 16 and over with a BMI of 30 or higher.

However, there are no targets for screening or managing obese patients.

The DoH also suggests that 'GPs are not making full use of the clinical care pathway, nor their BMI registers'.

To address this, the DoH says that it will evaluate and, if needed, update the existing clinical care pathway for the management of weight problems.

Hertfordshire GP Dr David Haslam, clinical director of the National Obesity Forum, said GPs are not making use of the clinical pathways because they are unhelpful and just state the obvious, while the BMI register is not useful unless patients are screened.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

DoH Anti-obesity strategy 2008

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