A fifth of GPs will fail to meet mandatory heath check target: survey

A fifth of GPs will fail to meet mandatory heath check target: survey A fifth of GPs in England will not be able to meet the compulsory target of offering health checks to 20 per cent of their patients aged between 40 and 74 years in 2012-13, figures obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request revealed.

GP magazine sent Freedom of Information requests to a total of 151 PCTs in England, of which merely 118 PCTs responded.

The compiled figures revealed that around 1.7 million health checks were offered to patients in 2011-12. The figure represents just 14 per cent of all those eligible.

Twenty-one per cent of PCTs admitted they would not be able to meet the mandatory target in 2012-13. Three PCTs even failed to provide a single health check in 2011-12, while one PCT provided only four checks.

More than 920,000 checks were carried overall. This is an increase on 2010-11, when 1.1 million checks were offered and 645,000 were conducted.

A spokeswoman for NHS Cornwall & Isles of Scilly, which didn't provide even a single check in 2011-12, said they didn't prioritize the program due to other pressures.

Jules Payne, CEO of Heart UK, condemned the findings and said, "This has all the classic ingredients of health inequalities and a postcode lottery for accessing services."

Deputy Chairman Dr. Richard Vautrey, of the British Medical Association's GP Committee, held lack of central guidance responsible for the inconsistent program.