Read code alterations are 'wasting GPs' time'

Constant changes to quality framework Read codes are causing increasing frustration amongst GPs.

Changes are made every six months and many are creating increased workload for GPs who have to change templates and update records.

The latest changes that are likely to cause problems for GPs relate to the ongoing management of dementia and exception codes for patients with left ventricular dysfunction.

Dr Pablo Millares Martin, a GP in Leeds, said the change to the dementia codes had not been flagged up in advance and overnight he found 60 per cent of his dementia patients were no longer catalogued as having had their check-up.

'We have had to change all those patients' records and change the template, not to mention the time it took to find out what the problem was.'

Dr Gavin Jamie, a GP in Swindon who scrutinises any changes to Read code software, said it was an ongoing problem.

'We have a "Hotel California" mental health register. Easy to get on but no way to leave it, even if the patient has completely recovered,' Dr Jamie added.

A Connecting for Health spokesman said: 'Codes will only change three times in any one year. Once will be to incorporate changes to the GP contract as agreed between GP representatives and the DoH. The other two occasions will be maintenance releases to reflect updating of the source Read code dictionary which are required to ensure GPs get the money to which they are entitled.'

Read code change

Patients diagnosed with dementia whose care has been reviewed in the preceding 15 months
Old: Codes starting with 6A6, 3A, 8CM2, 8BM0, 8CR7.
New: 6AB

Exception codes for heart failure
Old: codes starting with 9h1
New: codes starting with 9hw.

GPletters@haymarket.com

Comment below and tell us what you think 

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 COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

MPs demand overhaul of 'entire approach to pension tax relief' ahead of budget

MPs demand overhaul of 'entire approach to pension tax relief' ahead of budget

MPs have called on chancellor Rishi Sunak to 'urgently reform the entire approach...

Government must halt 'stealth privatisation' of dozens of GP practices, warns Labour

Government must halt 'stealth privatisation' of dozens of GP practices, warns Labour

Labour has urged the government to halt the 'stealth privatisation' of dozens of...

RCGP demands independent review to check for BAME bias in CQC ratings

RCGP demands independent review to check for BAME bias in CQC ratings

CQC inspections on all practices rated 'requires improvement' or 'inadequate' in...

COVID-19 funding for general practice cannot stop in March, GPs warn chancellor

COVID-19 funding for general practice cannot stop in March, GPs warn chancellor

COVID-19 support funding for general practice must be increased and extended beyond...

Plan to freeze pensions lifetime allowance risks 'catastrophic impact' on medical workforce

Plan to freeze pensions lifetime allowance risks 'catastrophic impact' on medical workforce

The BMA has demanded urgent meetings with the Treasury and DHSC amid fears chancellor...