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Doctors accused of ticking boxes on obesity

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GPs have no incentive to do more than “tick boxes” when it comes to tackling obesity, campaigners have said.

The National Obesity Forum said that doctors were rewarded financially for recording the number of obese patients - yet not for doing anything about it.

At present, the quality and outcomes framework (QOF) – the mechanism through which GPs are paid under their national contract – only awards doctors points for identifying and recording obese patients on their practice list, but not for interventions or outcomes.

The NOF will tell MPs that there needs to be an overhaul of the way GPs approach obesity.

At a reception later today, the forum’s clinical director, Dr Matt Capehorn, is expected call for overweight patients to be guided towards weight-management programmes.

He is expected to say: “Encouraging GPs to engage with weight management services may be difficult given other pressures on their time.

“Merely drawing a register will not prevent a single overweight person from developing type 2 diabetes or a single obese person from having a heart attack.

“We recognise the obesity epidemic is not easy - tackling it needs action across government departments.”

 

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