GPs are missing health MOT targets

 One in five PCTs will miss the mandatory ‘MOT’ health check target in 2012–13.

GPs are required to give the MOT check, which provides early warning of cardiovascular problems, to all patients aged 40–74.

However, according to data obtained by GP magazine, up to nine million eligible patients will not be given the relevant checks and questions.

A PCT that has not even started giving the MOT checks blamed “other pressures” for the omission.

The health MOT records age, height, weight, blood pressure and blood cholesterol (plus blood glucose in certain cases), as well as responses to enquiries about current medication, smoking and family history.

This can provide early warning of heart and circulatory disease and diabetes.

In the year 2011–12, before the MOT became compulsory, the NHS set a target of 20% of eligible patients receiving the checks. However, only 14% did so.

In that year, four PCTs gave no or very few MOTs, and two-thirds of PCTs did not meet the interim target.

A spokeswoman for NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly said the programme could not be delivered “owing to other pressures”.

Dr Richard Vautrey, Deputy Chairman of the BMA’s GP Committee, commented that giving the scheme “greater national standards” and “national rates of payment” would have led to “better cost and clinical effectiveness”.

From April 2013, offering five-yearly MOT checks will be among the public health responsibilities of local government.