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Government encourages action on peripheral vascular disease

By Nigel Praities

PCTs will be encouraged to improve the management of peripheral vascular disease in national guidance to be released by the Government next year, Pulse can reveal.

The Department of Health is working on a primary care service framework that will be a template for PCTs to commission their own local services for PAD.

But the move has been criticised by GPs as ‘disappointing' because the framework does not come with any additional funding or central performance monitoring.

PAD narrowly missed out on inclusion in the QOF this year, despite being one the of the three key areas of development identified by the GPC.

A Department of Health spokesperson said the national guidance would look at the recently announced clinical directed enhanced service for PAD developed in Northern Ireland, which covers the development of PAD patient registers, secondary prevention and screening of smokers over 50 years.

A new report, published by Target PAD last week, shows the neglect of patients with PAD is risking lives and costing the NHS at least £47 million per year.

Dr Andrew Mimnagh, chair of Sefton LMC and a board member of Target PAD, said the Government's plans would worsen the ‘postcode lottery' of treatment currently available for PAD. ‘This is a step in the right direction, but it is rather sad as it could have been a lot larger and more unified.

‘Areas with poor records on PAD will take this up as it is clinically appropriate, and those in the most affluent areas will because they have the most resources, but it will be those in the middle where care will not improve,' he said.

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