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GPs hailed for their care of the elderly

The Government has given GPs a glowing report for their work on implementing the national service framework for older people.

A two-year progress report released last week said older people had been 'one of the main beneficiaries' of improvements in primary care, in particular through 'very significant reductions' in waiting times for a GP appointment.

The new contract will further improve care of older patients through the stroke, coronary heart disease, diabetes and hypothyroidism quality markers, the Department of Health believes.

The department also welcomed increased GP prescribing to dementia patients. Prescriptions for the three main anti-dementia drugs tripled between the start of 2001 and September 2002.

GPs' efforts to raise flu immunisation uptake in older people were also recognised in the report.

Despite initial slow pro-gress, many primary care trusts were now meeting the NSF requirement to review all over-75s' medication annually and those on four or more medicines six-monthly, the report added.

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