Small practices query data on diabetes care

GPs have hit back at claims that diabetes care is worse in smaller practices. Analysis of quality management and analysis system data for England and Scotland in 2004/5 suggested diabetes care was poorest when provided by smaller GP practices.

Small practices query data on diabetes
Small practices query data on diabetes

Because small practices are often found in deprived areas, this could mean patients who most need high-quality care are less likely to receive it, according to the researchers.

The difference in achievement of target for BP, HbA1c and cholesterol between small and large practices was less than 5 per cent.

But in practices with list sizes smaller than 3,000, only 78.2 per cent of patients underwent retinal screening, compared with 86.1 per cent in practices with lists of 10,000-plus. Similarly,

71.2 per cent of patients at small practices underwent neuropathy testing, compared with 80 per cent at the largest.

Peripheral pulse testing was carried out in 73.1 per cent of diabetics at small practices, compared with 81.1 per cent at practices with the biggest list size.

Although most practices in deprived areas were less likely to achieve national treatment targets, this trend was particularly marked in small practices.

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