Opportunistic health checks identify undiagnosed patients

GP-led opportunistic health checks in supermarkets can help to identify undiagnosed patients, including those with CVD, diabetes and respiratory disease.

Dr Lee: logical step is to go out and find patients opportunistically
Dr Lee: logical step is to go out and find patients opportunistically

A pilot study carried out just inside the entrance of a major supermarket, on eight consecutive Saturdays between 10am-2pm, screened 1,024 people in south east London. Each consultation was an average length of four minutes 23 seconds.

The results revealed that 425 people (41%) needed follow-up; 261 (26%) individuals were previously undiagnosed, while 106 had abnormal results in a previously diagnosed condition.

Overall, 95 of patients (9%) had raised blood glucose, 172 (16%) had hypertension, and 52 (5%) had FEV1 less than 75% of the predicted value. In addition, 29% of patients screened positive for depression.

Dr Eugenia Lee, a GP in Greenwich, who led the study, said: ‘We challenged a lot of GPs’ beliefs because like me, they didn’t believe these people were out there. Our practice was doing really well.’

Dr Lee said initial analyses had indicated that some 1,000 patients at her practice were undiagnosed with hypertension, diabetes and COPD: ‘That figure worried me tremendously. It has got to be something that I don’t know about because my practice worked really well and our QOF targets were great, each and every year, so where are these people?’

A trawl through practice records revealed individuals on the list that the practice had not been in contact with for years. Dr Lee said that if the patients were unwilling to present to the surgery then the logical step was to go out and find them opportunistically.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

UK Houses of Parliament

Scrapping partnership model will not solve crisis in general practice, say NHS leaders

Scrapping the partnership model and moving to a salaried service will not solve the...

Dr Jackie Applebee

Doctors tell BMA to pull GP practices out of PCNs by 2023

The BMA has been told to organise the withdrawal of GP practices from PCNs by 2023...

GP consultation

3 in 10 doctors fear being blamed or facing legal action after admitting mistakes

Three in 10 doctors are worried about the repercussions of admitting to clinical...

BMA House entrance

Only 55% of Romney review recommendations on BMA sexism fully implemented

Only just over half of recommendations from the 2019 Romney review into sexism in...

BMA House entrance

GPs face pension tax penalties worth 'half their post-tax income'

Rapid swings in inflation could leave GPs facing pension tax penalties worth 'half...

Banknotes

BMA to demand significant pay rises to combat 15 years of real-term cuts

The BMA is set to demand significant pay rises for all doctors to undo over a decade...