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13-03-2013 | General practice | Article

Gestational diabetes ‘should be in QOF’


Diabetes UK Professional Conference, Manchester, UK; 13–15 March 2013

medwireNews: Researchers and Diabetes UK are calling on GPs to improve the follow-up of women diagnosed with gestational diabetes and say that a new Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) indicator for postnatal diabetes screening should be introduced.

Study findings presented at the charity's annual professional conference show that only 18.5% of women had a blood glucose test in the 6 months following delivery, despite NICE guidance recommending a fasting blood glucose test 6 weeks after birth.

Among 788 women attending 127 UK GP practices, 146 received a blood test in the year after diagnosis. Among these patients, 6.8% had an abnormal test result, with three new cases of Type 2 diabetes detected.

Lead researcher Dr Andrew McGovern, from the University of Surrey, said the findings highlight the "haphazard" nature of short-term care for women with gestational diabetes, as well as the substantial risk of full-blown diabetes they face.

"There are a number of strategies which could be implemented in primary care to ensure that women are not left at unnecessary risk of developing Type 2 diabetes," Dr McGovern noted in a press statement.

The authors recommend the introduction of a QOF indicator for diabetes screening among women who have had gestational diabetes as well as establishing a recall register for the condition.

"This study shows the power of using electronic records to identify gaps in quality, especially in primary care. These same records could be used to create recalls and reminders to close this quality gap and make sure that women receive the care they need," Dr McGovern concluded.

medwireNews is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2013

By Kirsty Oswald, medwireNews Reporter