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3.6 Reporting for the general medical services contract

Relevant Tools: A.18

This section explains the reporting of epilepsy management in the general medical services (GMS) contract in more detail. It includes an outline of the quality indicators for epilepsy and a list of criteria for reporting patients as exempt from inclusion (exclusion reporting).

The GMS contract provides a major focus on quality and outcomes.1

Practices have the opportunity to receive additional funding to support aspiration to, and achievement of, a range of quality standards. Practices are rewarded for delivering quality care, with extra incentives to encourage even higher standards. There are four main components in the quality framework:

  • clinical standards covering coronary heart disease, stroke or transient ischaemic attacks, hypertension, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, epilepsy, cancer, mental health, hypothyroidism and asthma
  • organisational standards covering records and information about patients, information for patients, education and training, practice management and medicines management
  • experience of patients covering the services provided, how they are provided and patient involvement in the service development plans
  • additional services.

Ensuring the availability of high quality clinical information and updated records

  • Those collecting and recording the data must be competent in the use of Read codes.
    • Some training may be required on accurate data entry in the practice.
  • All new diagnoses of epilepsy will need an appropriate Read code entry.
    • The practice needs to decide how this will be ensured.
  • When carrying out annual review of your patients with epilepsy the register should be updated to keep it accurate.

Several new Read codes have been introduced to facilitate GMS reporting for the epilepsy update (see A.18).

Practices should contact their software supplier for up-to-date templates. All software suppliers now have epilepsy templates, which can collect the information needed for the QOF requirements and which ensures that the correct Read codes are used. Epilepsy Action hopes to host templates for the most common software packages on its website (www.epilepsy.org.uk/gpresource) when they become available.

If you require more detail on Read codes, or an update on the current situation, please refer to NHS Connecting for Health website .

Practical 'housekeeping' tips

Below are some suggestions to assist when reviewing and reporting epilepsy figures from your practice:

  • ensure patients aged both above and below 18 are included in searches
  • include newly-diagnosed patients
  • identify patients with missing records
  • examine patients' records at the extremes of age in the epilepsy population
  • be familiar with Read codes, or organise training if needed.


1 Department of Health (DoH), 2003. Improving Services for People with Epilepsy. Department of Health Action Plan in Response to the National Clinical Audit of Epilepsy-Related Death.

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