Threat to QOF scores for diabetes

Quality framework payments for diabetes are likely to fall this year as GPs push fewer patients to achieve the lowest HbA1c target, experts have warned.

But government officials warned GPs not to be ‘complacent' over target achievement.

A DoH report last week showed that despite cholesterol and BP improvements, fewer people with diabetes hit the 7.5% HbA1c target in 2008/9 than the previous year.

‘It is good news that we are continuing to see improvements in some areas,' the report concluded.

‘But we cannot be complacent and there is more to do to ensure that improvements continue across all key tests and measurements.'

County Down GP Dr Colin Kenny, former chairman of the Primary Care Diabetes Society, said that the new 7% HbA1c target has made top achievement on diabetes indicators more challenging.

‘The most recent QOF targets have made the targets harder to achieve at a time when GPs are questioning the safety of this aggressive approach,' he said.

‘GPs see a much older age spectrum than is normally included in evidence-based studies,' he added. ‘We need to be more sanguine about pursuing aggressive targets in diabetics in later life, especially on the back of emerging evidence of harm from too tight control.'

Journals Watch - Minimum and maximum HbA1c targets

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