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Independents' Day

GPs won't be swamped by the diabetes prevention programme

A group of GPs writes

From Dr Matt Kearney, GP in Runcorn and National Clinical Advisor NHS England and Public Health England, Dr Peter Green, GP in Cliffe Woods and Lead Medway Diabetes Prevention Demonstrator Project, Dr Stephen Liversedge, GP in Bolton and Clinical Director of Primary Care Bolton, and Dr Sheila McCorkindale, GP in Salford and Long term conditions lead (diabetes and kidney) Salford CCG

Your headline ‘GPs to be tasked with finding five million at high risk of type 2 diabetes’, implies that GPs will be swamped by a case-finding exercise for the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP).

NHS DPP is being launched because of compelling evidence that intensive lifestyle interventions substantially reduce the incidence of diabetes in those at high risk, and hence will reduce GP workload and patient morbidity.

In general practice we have many patients on our registers with non-diabetic hyperglycaemia (NDH) and the NHS DPP will at last provide us with an evidence-based service to refer patients to.

We will continue to detect NDH opportunistically but most of the new case finding and source of referrals will come from NHS Health Checks. Everyone agrees we need wider political action on obesity, but on behalf of our patients we as GPs also have a part to play.

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Readers' comments (9)

  • I have recently retired from my practice at age 57 having completed 30 years as a GP partner.
    I had previously intended to continue as a partner until age 60.
    The main reason for retiring was in relation to workload and in particular the increasing amount of non-patient contact workload.
    When I first started as a GP this probably amounted to 20% of my work; at the end it was 45-50%.
    One part of this huge increase in electronic "paperwork" is the filing and actioning of blood test results which arise from NHS health checks and other "screening" initiatives.
    Some of these initiatives have an uncertain evidence base and more importantly take little account of the resources available in primary care to deal with the consequences of screening.
    ie number and availability of doctors, nurses and health care assistants, availability of appointments to discuss the results of blood tests with patients.
    Towards the end of my time as a partner I would sometimes end up sitting in front of a computer until after 9PM dealing with test results, DOCMAN, hospital post etc.
    I think this type of initiative needs to be looked at in the context of the bigger picture; ie young GP's voting with their feet by not opting for a career in general practice.

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  • NHS Health Checks. That bit of Evidence Based Screening. Not

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  • Non diabetic hyperglycaemia? You mean like, after breakfast? So presumably some other well meaning group will have me chasing "transient solar erythema" and "madras induced colitis" next too, FFS?

    Remind me, where is the line between my job and their lifestyle choice?

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  • And what about the impending epidemic we have of pre-obese children, and the hidden cases of subclinical depression and pre-senile old age that we should be identifying.

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  • As Copperfield has pointed out quite succinctly (and it's not rocket science is it), let's worry about coping with the sick first.

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  • Oh, really.
    You know what, I'm past caring!

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  • Is their argument that we are already swamped so we cant be more swamped????

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  • Note the "Group of GPs" are to a (wo)man NHSE, Public Health, CCG worthies.

    Foxtrot Oscar Guys.

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  • Resource it properly or don't do it

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