CKD registers setback
By Daniel Cressey
GPs may be forced to calculate estimated glomerular filtration rates themselves if they want to earn quality points under the revised QOF.
Laboratories were all supposed to be providing eGFR calculations by April under the QOF agreement, but Pulse has learned that many will be unable to do so.
Calculations of eGFR are essential to set up registers under the new CKD section of the QOF but the GPC warned provision by labs would at first be 'patchy'.
The Association for Clinical Biochemistry said it did not collect figures on eGFR provision and did not know how widespread the problem was.
But in Leeds, which has no eGFR access, the clinical biochemistry and immunology laboratory has told GPs it is 'unlikely' to meet the April deadline.
According to Leeds LMC, the laboratory said it lacked the workforce to provide eGFR and could not do so solely for the benefit of GPs. It suggested GPs calculate eGFR themselves.
Dr Richard Vautrey, LMC secretary, said: 'We have raised it with the trust.'
Dr Hamish Meldrum, GPC chair, said: 'We're aware there may potentially be a problem. When the new QOF was drawn up we were assured that eGFRs would be available from 1 April.
'There is some evidence this may not be true in every area and we're trying to gauge the extent of the problem.'
Dr Adrian Jacobs, member of the core negotiating team for NHS Employers, did not rule out the possibility that GPs might have to do the calculations. He said: 'We do not want GPs to have to do this. We are putting pressure on labs.'