Charity campaigns for QOF to include prostate enlargement

Charity Prostate UK has given evidence to NICE suggesting benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is included in the quality framework (QOF).

It says that BPH, a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate, can be effectively treated but that many men fail to seek medical advice, believing that urinary symptoms are an inevitably of ageing.

It warns that, if left untreated, BPH can lead to complications such as acute urinary retention, kidney and bladder conditions, hospitalisation and surgery. It estimates the total annual cost of treating BPH in secondary care is £111m.

Dr Jon Rees, a GP who regularly treats patients with BPH, said: ‘In most cases, assessment and management of BPH in general practice is straightforward but currently too many patients are being treated inadequately or are being referred to urologists inappropriately.

‘With the right support and information, more GPs will be able to diagnose and treat BPH with confidence, helping to reduce delays in treatment and minimise costly surgical interventions.'

Professor Roger Kirby, director of The Prostate Centre, which is a unique specialist clinic dedicated to the management of prostate problems, said: ‘We are calling on the NHS to recognise BPH management and treatment as a key health priority and to make every effort to educate and encourage primary care to manage the condition appropriately. Inclusion of BPH in the quality framework would certainly help to make this a reality.'

Neil Durham

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