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The GPC has moved to end widespread confusion over the therapeutic lithium range specified in the quality and outcomes framework.

The therapeutic range specified in mental health indicator five is to change from April after GPs raised concerns that it differed from those agreed locally.

Therapeutic serum lithium levels will change from 0.6-1mmol/L to 0.4-1mmol/L. The upper achievement thres-hold for the indicator, worth up to five points, will increase to 90 per cent.

The GPC also reassured practices that they could earn quality points for this year using locally agreed therapeutic ranges even if they differed from those in the framework.

GPC negotiator Dr Laurence Buckman said the change had been made before the official quality review in 2006 because it was 'an urgent matter'. He said: 'Labs have changed the process whereby they measure lithium levels and the reference ranges have changed.' But he said no other changes were 'in the pipeline' before the 2006 review.

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