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CKD rate soars after inclusion in QOF

The addition of chronic kidney disease to the quality and outcomes framework has sent the number of patients GPs are treating for the disease rocketing, Pulse can reveal.

The total number of CKD

patients under treatment has leapt by a fifth in the first few months of the new QOF, according to figures from private

analysts CompuFile.

The rate of increase over the last three months has been nearly triple that in previous six-month periods, with no signs of a slowdown.

The results challenge claims that CKD indicators would not create significant extra work because most patients would already be under treatment.

Professor Mike Kirby, who has an interest in urology as professor in health and human sciences at the University of Hertfordshire, said: 'GPs have been wrong-footed as there had been no education initiatives or sufficient, clear guidance for handling the CKD task.'

Professor Kirby, a GP in Letchworth, said: 'We don't mind doing the work but we need an adequate reward and the points should include more.'

Dr Laurence Buckman, dep-uty chair of the GPC, admitted CKD workload would continue to rise: 'I'm not surprised at the level and rate of increase and as with all new things it is a few years away from a steady state and will continue to rise.'

He pledged the GPC would resist any plans to further toughen up CKD indicators.

In June, CompuFile recorded 81,900 patients under GP treatment with a code for CKD, compared with 69,975 in December 2005 (see graph).

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