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Exception 'abuses' blur diabetes picture

It is impossible to use the GP contract to track improvements in diabetes care because of apparent 'abuses' in exception reporting, a new report has claimed.

The charity Diabetes UK called for a review into the

reasons for the wide variations in exception reporting rates.

The warning came a week after Pulse revealed that the Government plans an overhaul of the exception reporting system as it continues its clampdown on GP pay.

The charity said that although results from the quality and outcomes framework suggested diabetes care was improving, 'problems remain with exception reporting within the QOF'.

It added: 'There are problems with the reporting of QOF data, which these results disguise. In particular, patients can be excluded from the analysis. Levels of exception reporting are very variable, potentially leading to distortions in the data.'

Libby Dowling, care adviser at Diabetes UK, told Pulse: 'Exception reporting is an area we are currently investigating. It is important to determine why some practices have a higher exception rate than others. It may be perfectly legitimate, but it may also be that people who are not managing their diabetes so well are being excluded from practices' quality point scores.

'If the system is being abused then a review into how to overcome these issues, to ensure the care people with diabetes are getting is not compromised, would need to take place.'

The report also called for better access to blood glucose testing strips, and warned opportunistic testing for diabetes 'remains seriously under-exploited'.

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