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Obesity sends GPs’ work soaring

GPs have not relied on exception reporting to achieve their remarkable quality scores, a new audit reveals.

Specialists have questioned whether GPs have overused the system, but the study found exception reporting was the exception and not the rule.

Just 9 per cent of CHD patients were excluded from cholesterol targets and 5 per cent or less of patients were excluded from the requirement for asthma review.

For most indicators, exclusion rates ran at 5-10 per cent, although 28 per cent of asthma patients were exception reported for flu vaccination.

Dr John Guy, one of the audit team and a GP in Hatfield Peverel, Essex, told Pulse: ‘It reflects very positively on my colleagues.'

Dr Guy, clinical lead at North Essex's Education Quality In Practice, said: ‘Most people had not used exceptions much at all.

‘The areas where they had related mostly to flu jabs in asthmatic patients, otherwise it was surprising how little they were used.'

Dr Stewart Drage, GPC negotiator, said: ‘I actually am not surprised by that. Practices almost go overboard on not exception reporting.' He added it was one of the ‘outstanding features of general practice' that GPs did not take advantage of opportunities to massage figures.

But Dr Guy cautioned exception reporting could climb if the bar was raised on quality targets. ‘If they're going to adjust the bands we might see exceptions increasing,' he said.

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