Tool could help GPs identify most frail patients

A GP surgery
A GP surgery

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RESEARCHERS have designed a new tool to help GPs assess which older people are the most frail and vulnerable.

The new tool helps doctors provide better care to the most vulnerable patients, improving health service planning.

The electronic frailty index (eFI) tool was developed by Dr Andrew Clegg, from the University of Leeds, and tested by Dr Lynn Lansbury, of the University of Portsmouth.

Dr Lansbury tested the tool in a GP practice. It uses 36 indicators of frailty using routine data already held on GP databases including conditions such as anaemia, diabetes, heart and kidney problems and mobility issues.

Dr Lansbury said: ‘I ran a live trial to demonstrate the tool would benefit GPs and their patients. The pilot showed running the report was quick and simple and could identify patients with a high frailty score in a few minutes.

‘It was also more thorough. As well as identifying patients the GPs were expecting to see, it also revealed patients not previously identified as at risk.’