Read code change 'wastes GP time'

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

Changes are made every six months and although most of them are minor, many are creating increased workload for GPs who have to continually change templates and update patient 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 (LVD).

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 suddenly 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 in the first place.’

A Connecting for Health spokesman said: ‘There are no ‘constant changes’. 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 and the remaining 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.’

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