LMCs reject call to scrap QOF despite strong criticism

LMC leaders have rejected calls to scrap the QOF, but warned that the framework is anti-patient choice and fails to recognise patients' co-morbidities.

Dr Julie-Ann Birch: called for QOF to be scrapped
Dr Julie-Ann Birch: called for QOF to be scrapped

GPs at the 2015 LMCs conference backed a motion warning that the QOF 'does not recognise the increasing stratification of management of long-term conditions dependent on the patient’s general health status and co-morbidities', and that it 'does not reflect current concepts of patient choice'.

But they rejected warnings that the framework was unfit for purpose and a call for it to be scrapped.

Dr Julie-Ann Birch from Cleveland LMC told the conference: 'I want us to consider scrapping QOF because it is no longer fit for purpose. QOF does not recognise the multiple comorbidities many of our patients have.'

QOF undermines GP professionalism

Dr Birch added that the QOF left doctors under pressure to tick boxes rather than dealing with patients' needs. 'The QOF has undermined our professionalism and reduced patient choice as we all strive to fit patients into boxes rather than respecting their individualism,' she argued.

Evidence that the framework had improved care was limited, she said, and scrapping the QOF could provide a way to ease pressure on GPs.

Annie Farrell, from Liverpool LMC, said GPs would 'continue to provide good quality care even without the QOF'.

'Having to crowbar QOF into consultations is disruptive and erodes the GP patient relationship. The admin burden is huge.'

But GPC prescribing subcommittee chairman Dr Andrew Green warned that scrapping the framework would create 'a flow of money away from high achieving practices to low achieving ones'.

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