QOF data renews call for obesity points

The QOF needs to include points for vascular screening of obese patients if prevalence recording is to improve, according to an obesity expert.

Prevalence data from Scotland for 2008/9 published last week showed that obesity reporting rates remain around 7 per cent, well below the estimated national prevalence of around 20 per cent.

NHS National Services Scotland believes one likely reason for this discrepancy is that practices do not record all obese patients, particularly those who are relatively young or who have not experienced any particular health problems.

Hertfordshire GP Dr David Haslam, clinical director of the National Obesity Forum, said recording of obesity status must be linked to other interventions.

'If you want a really quick fix, and there are very few quick fixes with obesity, it needs to be put into QOF that screening and weight loss advice is offered to all obese patients,' he said.

Everyone on obesity registers should be screened for hypertension, dyslipidaemia and diabetes, he suggests.

The prevalence figures show that case finding by GPs has reduced undocumented cases of kidney disease, hypertension and hypothyroidism.

tom.moberly@haymarket.com

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