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Age cap introduced for QOF cardiovascular risk assessments

By Nigel Praities

GPs do not have to carry out a full cardiovascular risk assessment in elderly hypertensive patients, under a surprise change made to the QOF this month.

An age cap on the primary prevention indicator PP1 has been introduced because the risk charts do not include patients over 75 years.

The PP1 and PP2 indicators are worth 13 QOF points for conducting a cardiovascular risk assessment and giving lifestyle advice in patients with high blood pressure.

Practices will still receive full QOF points, but are now exempt from carrying out a risk assessment under PP1 if the patient is over 75 years.

Andrew Clapperton, head of primary care workforce and contracting at NHS Employers, said the change was in response to enquiries from practices about how they should assess risk in older patients.

‘Patients with hypertension who are aged 75 and over should still have their risks reduced through lifestyle advice as per the indicator PP2. These changes will not affect GP's pay,' he said.

GPs should discontinue risk assessments in the over 75s What are the precise changes?

QOF CVD PP1 indicator: (Cardiovascular disease - primary prevention 1)

"The business rules are being amended to exclude patients aged 75 years and over from PP1. Patients in this age group should still be individually assessed and their risks reduced, although risk equations do not apply and thresholds for reductions are not currently available. PP2 applies to all age groups, as do the blood pressure control indicators in the hypertension set."

Source: Primary Care Contracting documents

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