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Reversibility test does not earn points

The article 'A new era in COPD' (Clinical, May 10) perpetuates a misunderstanding regarding spirometry reversibility testing and the new contract.

The author misunderstands reversibility testing as being required to gain the points – on the contrary, whatever the clinical merits of reversibility testing, a practice can gain full points for COPD without testing reversibility.

The wording of the Q&O specification refers to 'spirometry including reversibility testing'.

In English this word 'including' could mean that reversibility testing is required.

It could also mean that a record of reversibility testing qualifies as a record of spirometry.

The technical specification for extraction of data from practice clinical systems follows the latter interpretation, and hence no extra credit is given to practices that perform reversibility testing as well as recording standard spirometry – see www.dh.gov.uk/ assetRoot/04/07/86/74/04078674.PDF

Dr Simon Child

Bury

Lancashire

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