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QOF set to get first statin primary prevention target

By Lilian Anekwe

A target for the use of statins for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease could be included in the QOF for the first time.

The independent QOF indicator advisory committee agreed unanimously at its meeting in Manchester last week to pilot an indicator incentivising GPs to prescribe statins for people with newly diagnosed hypertension with a 10 year risk of developing cardiovascular disease of 20% or more.

The committee also asked for a review of the evidence that primary prevention of cardiovascular disease would be of benefit to patients, and of local enhanced services already in place, to avoid overlap with existing schemes.

A hitlist of indicators which could be retired was also revealed with both smoking domain indicators– for keeping a register and offering smoking cessation advice – earmarked, potentially freeing up 60 QOF points.

Keeping a record of total cholesterol in patients with coronary heart disease, recording of the BMI of patients with diabetes and two epilepsy indicators, for recording seizure frequency and a medication review were also flagged up for possible retirement.

CHD9 - offering seven points for prescribing an antiplatelet or an anticoagulant to patients with heart disease - was also included but looks likely to be replaced by one encouraging anticoagulant use over aspirin.

Dr Colin Hunter, a GP in Aberdeen and chair of the QOF indicator advisory committee said: ‘This analysis [on indicators for retirement] is only part of the decision making process but we do take other things into account- mainly the impact on patient care.'

Statins for primary prevention could be included in the QOF

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