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GP picks up hidden COPD

Dr Nigel Masters has greatly increased diagnosis of COPD in his practice after implementing a targeted screening programme.

Dr Masters, a GP in Hazlemere, Buckinghamshire, quizzed all his current or former smokers, and invited everyone over the age of 40 with 15 or more pack-years of smoking history to attend for spirometry.

After 10 months, 56 per cent

of the target population had

their risk documented and the number of patients on the practice's COPD register had risen by 54 per cent.

Dr Masters said: 'It's re-engineering the COPD target in the QOF into something more positive and more preventive.'

He added: 'It is extra work, but if your nurses have spare capacity it's definitely worthwhile.'

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