The results of a new survey of 400 UK healthcare professionals reveal that the majority of practice nurses surveyed (n=100) recognise NICE lipid targets as best practice for lipid management for high-risk (type 2 diabetes and secondary prevention) patients.
The respondents also believe that it would be useful for the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) to include specific lower lipid targets for these patients, in line with NICE guidelines.
In the survey (which included 100 each of GPs, practice nurses, cardiologists and diabetologists), the majority of nurses (84%) said that, in an "ideal world", best practice lipid management for patients with type 2 diabetes is treatment to <4 mmol/l total cholesterol and/or <2 mmol/l LDL-cholesterol, in line with NICE guidelines.
Most nurses (69%) reported that they would typically treat type 2 diabetes patients to these targets in everyday practice, with the resources they have available.
However, for secondary prevention patients, just over half (55%) of nurses said that in an "ideal world", best practice lipid management for patients with secondary prevention is treatment to <4 mmol/l total cholesterol and/or <2 mmol/l LDL-cholesterol, in line with NICE guidelines and less than half of nurses (42%) said they would typically treat secondary prevention patients to these levels in everyday practice, with the resources they have available.
Jan Procter-King, CVD Practice Nurse, Tutor for the Primary Care Training Centre, Bradford and Chair of the Primary Care Cardiovascular Society, commented, "It is encouraging to see how many nurses are both aware of the NICE recommendations and report following them.
"The support for these clinical standards shown by practice nurses in this survey highlights their commitment to improving care for the many patients at high cardiovascular risk they regularly see in practice."
The majority of practice nurses and GPs surveyed (81% and 82% respectively) agreed that the QOF cholesterol indicator should remain a priority area in QOF4.
Furthermore, the majority of nurses said they believe that standards should be higher and aligned with NICE guidelines, with 91% supporting specific lower lipid targets for type 2 diabetes and 82% supporting specific lower lipid targets for secondary prevention.
The survey was conducted by TNS Healthcare UK and sponsored by Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited and Schering-Plough Limited