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GP PAD care facing 'huge deficit'

By Nigel Praities

A 'huge deficit' in care for patients with peripheral arterial disease is revealed by a new study, hardening criticism over the Government's decision to veto addition of points for the disease to the QOF.

Researchers found the management of PAD was significantly worse compared with coronary artery disease in primary care.

The UK study looked at the care received by 108 patients at admission to a vascular surgery or cardiology ward with PAD or CAD. In these patients, only 21% of patients with PAD had their blood lipid levels measured, compared with nearly 43% of CAD patients. Patients with PAD were also less likely to be treated with statins, antiplatelets and ACE inhibitors, compared with CAD patients on admission.

The authors said the data reveal a ‘huge treatment deficit' for patients with PAD.

Meanwhile the GPC confirmed this week that negotiators had agreed a number of new clinical indicators for PAD with NHS Employers, which were then rejected by the government. It went on to say that it was ‘concerned' at comments from Alan Johnson which said GPs should not need incentives to carry out best practice for PAD or osteoporosis patients.

‘GPs will always try and do the best for their patients but they work in an increasingly complex way, and therefore the added educational benefit of focusing on disease in the QOF will expand care,' the statement reads.

Dr Jonathan Morrell, a GP in Hastings, East Sussex, and a hospital practitioner in cardiology, said he was initially ‘thrilled' the GPC had decided to allocate points for PAD but added: ‘The whole thing has been hijacked by the government's drive to improve access.

‘There are a 100,000 people with PAD are not being recognised and not being given the medications that they need to prevent the disease that is going to kill them.

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