Two thirds of PCTs missing BMI target

PCTs in England and Wales are failing to ensure the recording of patients' BMI and diagnosis of heart failure, according to the Healthcare Commission.

The watchdog's annual 'State of Healthcare' report found that only 66 per cent of PCTs had the target number of GPs measuring obesity, compared with 71 per cent last year. This meant that 2.3 million fewer people had their BMI index measured than PCTs intended.

The report also found that there were 140,000 fewer cases of heart failure diagnosed than expected. It concludes that this could represent problems recording patient data or, more worryingly, a failure to diagnose.

A GP survey in June found that nearly half of GPs wanted obesity removed from the quality framework. GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said it was the only quality indicator without an evidence base.

PCTs were criticised in the report for failing to establish practice-based registers to target treatment to patients at risk of CHD and diabetes, with more than half failing to put registers in place as planned.

Dr Buckman disputed the BMI finding as 'counter intuitive'. He said: 'The BMI is generated by the practice computer and I would have to turn it off not to measure BMI.'

On heart failure, he added: 'Of course the number of diagnoses has gone down because it's a hospital thing; we are told to diagnose with an echocardiogram, to which most GPs don't have access.'

The Healthcare Commission also criticised PCTs for failing fully to understand the health needs of their populations.

The analysis of a year's worth of Healthcare Commission studies found that, although primary care was improving overall, disparities in care in deprived areas were not being reduced.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

State of Healthcare report

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

Hospitals adding to GP crisis with constant flow of work dumped on practices, say LMCs

Hospitals adding to GP crisis with constant flow of work dumped on practices, say LMCs

Hospitals are compounding the GP workload crisis by dumping 'endless tasks' on primary...

Abnormal vaginal discharge - red flag symptoms

Abnormal vaginal discharge - red flag symptoms

Advice on red flag symptoms in patients with vaginal discharge, including what examinations...

GMC demands 'greater autonomy' to tackle bias against BAME doctors

GMC demands 'greater autonomy' to tackle bias against BAME doctors

The GMC has called for ‘greater autonomy’ to choose the complaints it investigates,...

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...

Government must invest to end 'historic' GP crisis in wake of COVID-19, says BMA

Government must invest to end 'historic' GP crisis in wake of COVID-19, says BMA

General practice is facing 'historic workforce and workload crises' that have been...

Most GP care should be face-to-face post-COVID, says RCGP

Most GP care should be face-to-face post-COVID, says RCGP

General practice faces a 'rebalancing' between face-to-face and remote consultations...