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GP audit reveals daunting statin task

The size of the task facing GPs in implementing the NICE statins appraisal is revealed this week by a new audit.

Only a third of patients with hypertension eligible under the appraisal were currently treated with statins, while GPs should be aiming for a treatment rate of more than 80 per cent, the auditors concluded.

They estimated that an average, three-partner practice would have 75 extra hypertensive patients with a 10-year CVD risk greater than 20 per cent who would require statins.

The audit, conducted by the Gloucestershire Primary and Community Care Audit Group, also found many patients without hypertension but with a potentially high cardiovascular risk had not been assessed.

Of those patients who had a recorded 10-year CVD risk over 20 per cent, but did not have hypertension or diabetes, almost none were currently on statins.

Audit leader Dr Robin Hollands, a GP in Cheltenham and Gloucestershire LMC lead for the QOF, said practices were making progress at risk assessing patients but would struggle to do so for everyone.

'It is a problem because NICE wants everybody with a risk above 20 per cent to have a statin but there's an awful lot of people out there who haven't got raised BP who fall into this group and GPs don't really know what to do with them.'

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