Cookie policy notice

By continuing to use this site you agree to our cookies policy below:
Since 26 May 2011, the law now states that cookies on websites can ony be used with your specific consent. Cookies allow us to ensure that you enjoy the best browsing experience.

This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

NHS releases read codes for diagnosing frailty

A series of read codes for generating an electronic frailty score have been released by the NHS information centre, in a move that NHS England leaders said will help GPs to formally diagnose the condition and provide better preventative care.

The roughly 2,000 read codes map onto 43 potential clinical ‘deficits’ - variables including dizziness, hearing or visual impairment, cognitive impairment and mobility problems - in a patient’s existing health record.

Speaking at the recent RCGP annual conference in Liverpool, NHS England lead on integration and frail elderly care Professor John Young explained the read codes can be used to generate a cumulative electronic frailty index - eFI - that is ‘a really good predictive model of frailty’.

The eFI allows elderly patients to be separated irrespective of age into mild, moderate and severe frailty groups, and NHS England is developing protocols around the appropriate interventions for each group - essentially supported self-management for patients with mild frailty, care and support planning for those with moderate frailty and case management or end-of-life care for those falling into the severe group.

The index was developed by TPP along with Leeds University researchers and is already available for SystmOne users, while the codes have now been developed and released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

Professor Young told Pulse: ‘This means we will for the first time be able to “officially” diagnose frailty. The expectation is that this will be an important step in fully recognising frailty as an abnormal health state rather than an adjective that describes a person. Also, by grading frailty - just like heart failure, [into] mild, moderate and severe - we will be in a better position to consider graded interventions with a focus on preventative care.’

>>>> Clinical Newswire

Readers' comments (3)

  • This is useful if linked to investment in practice teams to allow us time and resources to care for them

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Azeem Majeed

    It will be interesting to see if GPs use these new codes and whether the codes are good predictors of mortality and other adverse health outcomes.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Is this a release of 2000 *new* Read/CTV3 codes or a risk assessment tool using codes already in the patient record - and if already in the record, what are the selection criteria e.g. in time?
    "The roughly 2,000 read codes map onto 43 potential clinical ‘deficits’ - variables including dizziness, hearing or visual impairment, cognitive impairment and mobility problems - in a patient’s existing health record."
    Has the evidence for this new tool been made publicly available and the evaluation published?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say