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NICE reveals proposed new QOF targets

GPs to face targets on caring for carers of dementia patients

Louise Prime

Tuesday, 08 January 2013

GPs will be expected to keep a register of their patients who are carers for people with dementia, and to assess those carers’ health and support needs every 12 months, under NICE’s proposals for next year’s Quality and Outcome Framework targets. NICE says the change is to recognise the improvement in carers’ psychological health and wellbeing that can result from interventions such as stress management, with knock-on benefits for the dementia patient. The percentage of dementia patients whose records include contact details for a named carer should also be recorded.

NICE proposes that GPs record the percentage of patients newly diagnosed with dementia who have attended a memory assessment service up to 12 months before the date of diagnosis, in order to incentivise ‘the good practice of referring anyone with suspected dementia in primary care to a memory assessment service’.

NICE has also proposed new targets for diabetes care in general practice. These are:

  • The percentage of patients with type 2 diabetes aged ≥40 years with successful lipid management, defined as either:
    • a) last recorded cholesterol in the preceding 12 months ≤4.0mmol/l;
    • b) last recorded cholesterol in the preceding 12 months >4.0mmol/l and commenced on a moderate dose generic statin within 90 days of cholesterol recording;
    • c) last recorded cholesterol in the preceding 12 months >4.0mmol/l and generic statin dose increased within 90 days of cholesterol recording;
    • d) or, last recorded cholesterol in the preceding 12 months >4.0mmol/l and cholesterol lowering therapy changed to a different drug within 90 days of cholesterol recording.
  • The percentage of women with diabetes under the age of 55 years who have been given information and advice about pregnancy, conception or contraception tailored to their pregnancy and contraceptive intentions recorded in the preceding 15 months.
  • The percentage of women with diabetes under the age of 55 years who have a record of information and counselling about contraception, conception and pregnancy in the preceding 15 months.

NICE’s proposed new targets for coronary heart disease are ‘the percentage of patients [aged] 80 and over with coronary heart disease in whom the last blood pressure reading (measured in the preceding 15 months) is 150/90 or less’ and, for those under 80, whose last reading was 140/90 or less. NICE has proposed similar targets for patients with a history of peripheral arterial disease.

NICE also proposes that a further new QOF target should relate to the percentage of patients with hypertension whose diagnosis was confirmed following ambulatory monitoring.

GPs have until 4 February to comment on the proposals, announced yesterday by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

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