CMO condemns postcode lottery for statin scrips

Unacceptable variation in the proportion of CHD patients who receive statins has been highlighted in a report by the CMO.

In his report on the state of public health in England, Sir Liam Donaldson called for health service commissioners to end inequity in healthcare provision across the country.

Data from SHAs indicate that areas with the heaviest burden of cardiovascular disease have higher rates of statin scrips.

However, this is not always the case at PCT level, with patients in some areas not receiving the therapy they need, according to the report.

Sir Liam said: 'Variation in the provision of specific health services can sometimes be appropriate but it can also suggest waste or inequity within the NHS.

'There are too many variations that cannot be explained by the needs of patients and that occur because of the habits of clinical decision makers.'

The CMO also called for coronary revascularisation capacity to increase.

Current levels of revascularisation in England fall well below projected need for 2015.

Variations in rates of tonsillectomy rates across socioeconomic groups and rates of hysterectomy in different geographic areas were also highlighted.

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