Research by a team from the University of Sheffield found that early detection boosted clinical care and saved up to £470,000 per trust, before PCT numbers were cut from 303 to 152 last year.
The savings come from fewer emergency admissions and CHD events, and less need for dialysis.
The independent evaluation focused on an 18-month trial of the Optimal Renal Care programme in West Lincolnshire PCT. It began in 2005, before CKD was added to the quality framework.
Blood samples from patients attending GP surgeries in the area were assessed for estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).
This found a 6 per cent prevalence of stage-three to five CKD, almost three times the rate detected since eGFR was added to the quality framework (CKD prevalence is less than half of true figure - GP, 2 March).
Patients with CKD could then opt into the programme to receive education and monitoring from renal nurses.
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