GPs halt QOF sign-off as NHS investigates skewed payments

GP leaders have advised practices to halt their QOF approval processes after NHS England said it was investigating discrepancies in calculations and aspiration payments.

The GPC said practices across England had reported concerns with recent calculations and payments. Deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey told GPonline he believed the problem was related to an 'atypical practice skewing the results'.

Investigations by NHS England and NHS Digital have revealed discrepancies with prevalence calculations which could affect some practices’ achievement data, final payments and aspiration, the GPC told practices on Friday.

NHS England has said it is investigating and was working to ensure all practices receive interim aspiration payments for 2017/18 on time.

A GPC letter to practices says: ‘In the meantime, if practices and local commissioners could temporarily stop any QOF approval processes; further information will be communicated in more detail as soon as we can.’

GP funding

The Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants (AISMA) said practices should compare their QOF data with last year's figures to anticipate whether they will be affected by the problems. AISMA executive Andrew Pow said: ‘This is yet further evidence of increasing problems in the GP payment system which is letting practices down across the country.’

An NHS England spokeswoman said: ‘NHS England and NHS Digital are aware of issues which could potentially affect the QOF achievement calculations for some practices. We are working as a matter of priority to resolve this as soon as possible and apologise for any inconvenience caused. NHS England is working to ensure all practices receive their interim aspiration payments on time.’

Dr Vautrey said: ‘We hope that the issue can be resolved as quickly as possible and we are working with NHS England to ensure this happens.’

NHS England said if practices have concerns they should contact their local commissioner.

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