Compulsory recording of patients’ ethnic details will help to show disease trends

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 08 May 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1039
  1. Lisa Hitchen
  1. 1London

A research team is calling for GPs to record details of patients’ language, religion, and country of birth routinely to help identify trends in diseases in different ethnic populations.

A study by universities at Warwick, Leicester, and Birmingham has found that only 10% of all patients had their ethnic group recorded in a general practice database. The importance of collecting such data has been recognised by the government, and GPs can now earn one point under the quality and outcomes framework for recording the ethnic group of new patients. But most GPs still fail to do so, the researchers say.

The study, commissioned by Cancer Research UK and yet …

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