Introduction of a new incentive and target-based contract for family physicians in the UK: good for older patients with diabetes but less good for women?
Article first published online: 29 AUG 2008
© 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 Diabetes UK
Volume 25, Issue 9, pages 1083–1089, September 2008
How to Cite
McGovern, M. P., Williams, D. J., Hannaford, P. C., Taylor, M. W., Lefevre, K. E., Boroujerdi, M. A. and Simpson, C. R. (2008), Introduction of a new incentive and target-based contract for family physicians in the UK: good for older patients with diabetes but less good for women?. Diabetic Medicine, 25: 1083–1089. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2008.02544.x
- Issue published online: 29 AUG 2008
- Article first published online: 29 AUG 2008
- Accepted 4 July 2008
- chronic disease management;
- health informatics;
- patient care
Aims To determine whether the recording of diabetes-related health indicators has increased and differences diminished between age, gender and deprivation groups, following the introduction of the new General Medical Services contract (nGMS), an incentive- and target-based contract for UK family physicians.
Methods A serial cross-sectional study set in 310 primary care practices in Scotland serving a population of 1.5 million registered patients, focussing on diabetic patients. Data were taken immediately before the introduction of the nGMS and after it had been in place for 1 year.
Results One year after the introduction of the nGMS contract, there was a 54.2% relative increase in the number of patients electronically recorded as having diabetes. In addition, measurement of the quality indicators glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), blood pressure, serum creatinine and cholesterol significantly increased (P < 0.05). Women were less likely than men to have HbA1c[odds ratio (OR) 0.85, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 0.80–0.91], serum creatinine (OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.84–0.96) and cholesterol recorded (OR 0.83, 95% CI 0.77–0.90) or achieve HbA1c (≤ 10.0%; OR 0.87, 95% CI 0.82–0.91) and cholesterol targets (≤ 5.0 mmol/l; OR 0.83, 95%CI 0.77–0.90).
Conclusion The introduction of the nGMS contract was associated with a rise in the recording of patients with diabetes and the recording of diabetes-related quality indicators. However, women have not benefited equally from the nGMS contract. Strategies are needed to further improve the ascertainment of quality measures and care for women with diabetes, to lessen the potential burden of morbidity amongst female patients in the community.