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Ivan Benett

Ivan Benett

Dr Ivan Benett has been a GP in Central Manchester for 30years. He has held various educational posts, served on the LMC Executive, has been PCG chair and chair of the PCT professional executive until 2005. Following this he gained a PG diploma in Cardiology & became a GPwSI in cardiology. He has been on the NICE guideline groups for CKD, Post-MI care, chest Pain, Parkinson's & AAA, and expert group for Quality Standards in Heart Failure and CKD care. He is a Fellow of the RCGP & RCP and standing member of a NICE Quality Standards Advisory Committee. He was the Clinical Director Central Manchester CCG until December 2015. Currently he sits on the GM Clinical Senate and is a Non-Executive Director at the Central Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust with an interest in Patient Experience and is 'Freedom to speak out" guardian

  • We must learn to recognise the symptoms of a heart attack in women

    Ivan Benett's comment 19 Mar 2019 10:44am

    In terms of prevention the evidence has been put together in the NICE guideline - Cardiovascular disease: risk assessment and reduction, including lipid modification
    Clinical guideline [CG181] Published date: July 2014 Last updated: September 2016. Recommendations include risk assessment, lifestyle changes, risk factor modification and statins where indicated. As this article points out CVD can be prevented if we give sufficient focus, energy and resources.

  • We must learn to recognise the symptoms of a heart attack in women

    Ivan Benett's comment 19 Mar 2019 10:34am

    Indeed. NICE chest pain guidline 1June 2017 update (which I sat on) explicitly says that we should treat women and ethnic minirities in the same way.
    Notably NICE now recommends that all patients with new onset chest pain with atypical or typical anginal features, as well as those with non-cardiac chest pain and an abnormal resting ECG, should first be investigated with CTCA using a 64-slice (or above) CT scanner. Sadly, this recommendation seems to have been poorly taken up. We should be pressing commissioners for this to be made available

  • Statin Island

    Ivan Benett's comment 18 Mar 2019 7:40am

    Northwestdoc | Locum GP17 Mar 2019 7:53pm - Quality Statement 3

    NICE - Cardiovascular risk assessment and lipid modification
    Quality Standard Published: 4 September 2015
    List of quality statements
    Statement 1. Adults under 85 years with an estimated increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) are offered a full formal risk assessment using the QRISK2 tool.
    Statement 2. Adults with a 10-year risk of CVD of 10% or more are assessed for secondary causes before any offer of statin therapy.
    Statement 3. Adults with a 10-year risk of CVD of 10% or more receive advice on lifestyle changes before any offer of statin therapy.
    Statement 4. Adults with a 10-year risk of CVD of 10% or more for whom lifestyle changes are ineffective or inappropriate, discuss the risks and benefits of starting statin therapy with their healthcare professional.
    Statement 5. Adults choosing statin therapy for the primary prevention of CVD are offered atorvastatin 20 mg.
    Statement 6. Adults with newly diagnosed CVD are offered atorvastatin 80 mg.
    Statement 7. Adults on a high-intensity statin who have side effects are offered a lower dose or an
    alternative statin.
    Statement 8. Adults on a high-intensity statin have a repeat measurement of lipids and liver transaminases after 3 months of treatment.

  • Statin Island

    Ivan Benett's comment 18 Mar 2019 0:10am

    Northwestdoc | Locum GP17 Mar 2019 7:53pm - I agree with you. Lifestyle adjustments is the first line of management. Just as NICE recommends.

  • Statin Island

    Ivan Benett's comment 17 Mar 2019 10:15am

    Initially statin trials were against usual treatment which includes lifestyle changes and drugs for hypertension, diabetes etc. As the evidence has become so overwhelming for statins in secondary prevention the issue became how high a dose/ strength of statin should be - as assessed by how low LDL should go.
    The classic Primary prevention trial was WOSCOPS where the placebo arm were 'seen at three-month intervals, and dietary advice was reinforced on each occasion'.
    The conclusion was that treatment with pravastatin significantly reduced the incidence of myocardial infarction and death from cardiovascular causes without adversely affecting the risk of death from non-cardiovascular causes in men with moderate hypercholesterolaemia (non-fasting plasma cholesterol level 6.5 mmol/l) but who had no history of myocardial infarction.
    Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease with Pravastatin in Men with Hypercholesterolemia N Engl J Med 1995; 333:1301-1308

  • We should try our best to retain QOF

    Ivan Benett's comment 16 Mar 2019 5:51pm

    I agree. QOF is the best way to address the ‘rule of halves’ for Chronic Diseases listed. Some places have suggested scrapping and using the money for other things. I disagree. We should be continuing with QoF AND resourcing things like work force expansion, extended Primary care and same day access for same day problems. The issue is overall under resourcing, bad long term planning and failure to match capacity with demand.
    Stopping QOF will be a retrograde step

  • Statin Island

    Ivan Benett's comment 16 Mar 2019 1:33pm

    NNT for those without know heart disease taking statin for 5 years 1:104 heart attack prevented and 1:154 strokes. No mention of prior risk, dose of statin, age or co-morbidities.
    My point is patients should be informed and we should listen to NICE advice

  • Statin Island

    Ivan Benett's comment 15 Mar 2019 5:35pm

    The benefits of Statins in Primary Prevention for high and moderate risk (of CHD) outweighs any anecdotal side effects, which are in any case mostly reversible.
    May I present a couple of studies to support this contention and maybe the benefits and risks in the elderly. The only deniers are those who deny patients the opportunity to improve their risk of CVD by withholding statins. Yes I know there are non-physical risks like medicalisation, labelling and dependancy, but they are part of the risk assessment when balancing with benefits.
    Cholesterol Treatment Trialists’ Collaboration. Efficacy and safety of statin therapy in older people: a meta-analysis of individual participant data from 28 randomised controlled trialsLancet 2019; 393: 407–15. 186 854 participants in the 28 trials. Overall, statin therapy or a more intensive statin regimen produced a 21% (RR 0·79, 95% CI 0·77–0·81) proportional reduction in major vascular events per 1·0 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol.
    The proportional reduction in major vascular events was similar, irrespective of age, among patients with pre-existing vascular disease (ptrend=0·2), but appeared smaller among older than among younger individuals not known to have vascular disease (ptrend=0·05). They found a 12% (RR 0·88, 95% CI 0·85–0·91) proportional reduction in vascular mortality per 1·0 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol, with a trend towards smaller proportional reductions with older age (ptrend=0·004), but this trend did not persist after exclusion of the heart failure or dialysis trials (ptrend=0·2). Statin therapy had no effect at any age on non-vascular mortality, cancer death, or cancer incidence.
    Ramos R et al., Statins for primary prevention of cardiovascular events and mortality in old and very old adults with and without type 2 diabetes: retrospective cohort study BMJ 2018;362:k3359 Statins were significantly related to a reduction in incidence of atherosclerotic CVD and in all-cause mortality in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus; this effect was substantially reduced after the age of 85 and disappeared in nonagenarians These results do not support the widespread use of statins in old and very old populations, but they do support treatment in those with diabetes who are younger than 85 years.

    The American Heart Association has issued a “Scientific Statement” titled “Statin Safety and Associated Adverse Events,” which is a comprehensive overview based on data from both randomised and observational studies. The authors focus considerable attention on muscle symptoms: They estimate that myopathy — if defined as muscle symptoms plus creatine kinase (CK) levels at least 10 times the upper limit of normal — occurs in fewer than 1 per 1000 patients who are receiving maximally recommended doses of statins; they also estimate that severe myopathy (rhabdomyolysis) occurs in about 1 per 10,000 patients. The incidence of less-severe muscle symptoms (myalgias with or without mild increases in CK level) is difficult to estimate, given that myalgias are so common in the general population.
    Moderate-intensity and high-intensity statins increase relative risk for diagnosed diabetes by about 10% and 20%, respectively, affecting roughly 1 per 100 statin users during 5 years. Whether the diabetogenic effect is reversible is unclear.
    Severe liver toxicity is rare, occurring in roughly 1 per 100,000 people. The incidence of asymptomatic mild transaminase elevations (which often are transient) is ≈1%. The FDA recommends against routine monitoring of transaminase levels in statin users.
    Conclusions about other postulated adverse effects of statins are as follows:
    • Haemorrhagic stroke: Possible small excess incidence in patients with histories of cerebrovascular disease, offset by fewer ischemic strokes
    • Cognitive function: No definitive evidence of benefit or harm
    • Peripheral neuropathy: An association was noted in observational studies but was not reported in randomised trials
    • Erectile dysfunction: No association
    • Cataracts: Evidence is mixed, but the “preponderance of evidence” suggests no excess risk
    • Renal function: No evidence of any effect (except for the rare rhabdomyolysis)
    • Tendonitis or tendon rupture: No association
    • Cancer: No association
    The evidence is increasing about the benefit of statins in Primary Prevention. Meanwhile, I would suggest sticking to NICE guidance, until it is further updated.

  • NICE set to lower hypertension treatment thresholds for CVD patients

    Ivan Benett's comment 09 Mar 2019 7:19am

    David Young | GP Partner/Principal08 Mar 2019 6:09pm - in fact my income doesn’t depend on QOF since I am a salaried employee. Nevertheless I take your point. We should strive to give impartial advice to patients. It was the ‘snouts in the trough’ comment that got my goat. Most hypotension drugs are generic anyway and none of the NICE guideline group would gain financially from the outcome of their deliberations

  • NICE set to lower hypertension treatment thresholds for CVD patients

    Ivan Benett's comment 08 Mar 2019 4:38pm

    "Angus Podgorny | GP Partner/Principal08 Mar 2019 3:41pm @carfenatyl Spot on. NICE = snouts in the trough.
    Shameful thing is that we are the minions mooted to do the dirty work for them". -
    Actually NICE have very strict conflict of interest policies, perhaps you would like to ask them before making such outrageous slurs. ..There are 3 BP studies of relevance. SPRINT, ACCORD, and SPS3 are similar in many respects with regard to trial methodology. All used currently accepted antihypertensive medications as they are used inclinical practice. None had a placebo arm. ACCORD and SPRINT were conducted in the United States. SPS3 was conducted predominantly in the United States (65%), with lesser fractions in South American (23%) and Spain (12%).
    It is likely that the results of these 3 trials had a major impact on NICE guidelines groups thinking. They each had slightly different populations, ACCORD including people with diabetes and SPS3 people after stroke. Otherwise there were also other differences in population such as ethnicity and age. Intensive treatment for all 3 studies was highly effective for achieving a substantial reduction in systolic pressure for low goal cohorts compared to the usual goal groups. However, better outcomes only reached statistical difference in SPRINT.
    The NICE guideline group will have had the opportunity to evaluate the differences, without pharmaceutical industry influence or any other financial inducements (as suggested by the snout comment), and will ave been able to come up with a fair, dispassionate and evidence based conclusion. That is their role.
    We really can't have it both ways, claiming to wish to practice evidence based medicine and then rejecting conclusions we don't like.
    I do think the resource argument is a reasonable one, as is the danger of over medicalisation and the consequent harms both to the individual and society. Lets discuss the absolute as well as relative benefits with individuals for sure. But please let's not dismiss with comments like 'snouts in the trough'.
    PS I was not on this guideline and do not have any conflicts of interest, involvement with pharma or axe to grind.
    Oh and please lets not forget lifestyle, weight and exercise as major interventions too.

  • Our misery sponges are becoming saturated

    Ivan Benett's comment 12 Feb 2019 3:39pm

    Ha ha indeed. We do need more affective care. I’m afraid spell check takes it upon itself to improve my words

  • Our misery sponges are becoming saturated

    Ivan Benett's comment 12 Feb 2019 11:33am

    Delectable = reflect

  • Our misery sponges are becoming saturated

    Ivan Benett's comment 12 Feb 2019 11:31am

    For sure we are affected by the distress and sometimes shocking things we have to deal with. But to be a GP and expect these things not to happen is just unrealistic (especially in these days). Runnering through GP training, and indeed all medical training, should be a focus on personal resilience.
    We can be taught to cope with these issues, to build support mechanisms around us, and to recognise when we are near the edge. Sadly GP training seems to be overly focused on running a business, making a profit and maximising income. Now all of these are important, but our own mental health and state of mind are even more important. It may mean we accept a lower level of income, a slightly less efficient business or a more relaxed approach to maximising expenses.
    I suspect if more time is spent in training on how to manage our lives, recognise our drivers and prioritise what’s important, we would all be happier. May be our misery sponges would won’t get saturated, and fewer colleagues would get burnt out.
    Doing a workload survey is all well and good. If it is used to ask for more money it will result in simply having more more to be miserable. We must use the information to delectable on what we can do less of, if that’s what we want. I suspect most have already done this.
    We don’t need a workload survey to tell us we need more investment in Primary Care, more doctors and nurses, and better access, continuity and affective care. We do need to be able to look after ourselves, so we can look after others

  • I’m sick of being the fall guy

    Ivan Benett's comment 14 Jan 2019 11:46am


  • I’m sick of being the fall guy

    Ivan Benett's comment 14 Jan 2019 11:44am

    I agree that prescribing homeopathic remedies should be promoted. They are inexpensive and will not cause physical harm. If used properly and holistically can help people with their symptom of ‘shit life syndrome’. There is a risk of over dependence, as with conventional medication and doctor patient interaction, but this has to be managed.
    It isn’t just the dillusiI n and succession that gives homeopathy its healing powers. Indeed some say that this is bolony or worse. It is the power of the human interaction and therapeutic relationship that does the trick.
    Surprisingly I think you’re on to something Shabi

  • New GP contract to mandate practices to join primary care networks

    Ivan Benett's comment 07 Jan 2019 5:49pm

    An excellent development, essentially replicating Manchester model. Great opportunity for locality integrated teams, extended same day access, better long term condition management and continuity of care.
    BUT needs more capacity with a larger workforce to meet the needs of the locality population (which varies from one to another depending on demography and economic factors). In particular need a smaller case load per GP. Greater opportunity for flexibility of career choice and specialisation

  • NHS England launches seven-day GP advertising campaign

    Ivan Benett's comment 18 Dec 2018 1:59pm


  • GPs should review stable prostate cancer patients every six months, suggests NICE

    Ivan Benett's comment 18 Dec 2018 12:50pm

    Certainly this needs to be costed, but it is a really sensible way forward of taking relatively low risk work out of hospital care. This is not complicated and need not be contentious.
    Then perhaps we can move to a more systematic approach to offering PSA testing to those at high risk, and those who want to know. At this point I will duck out of the volley of bullets heading my way.

  • GPs receive £2.3m in return for extended access over holidays

    Ivan Benett's comment 18 Dec 2018 8:50am

    Excellent news. Increasing capacity to match ungent (same day) demand is obviously the right thing to do.

  • Charity requesting GP follow-ups following unapproved heart screening test

    Ivan Benett's comment 17 Dec 2018 10:48am