NI practices score higher than Scotland and Wales

Practices in Northern Ireland recorded higher scores in the quality framework for 2006/7 than colleagues in Scotland and Wales.

Dr Brian Dunn
Dr Brian Dunn

The average points score per practice in Northern Ireland was 978 (97.8 per cent).  Allowing for the loss of 50 access points, the figure is the same as achieved last year, 1,028 (97.9 per cent). 

GPC Northern Ireland chairman Dr Brian Dunn said: ‘I think we were expecting to score less this year. Most GPs thought they would be down a few points, so it’s great news.’

Scottish practices have confounded fears of a massive dip in profits with an average of 970 quality framework points (97 per cent) being scored.

Despite 50 access points being removed, the average GMS practice netted £128,510 – down from £134,073 on the previous 12 months but higher than widely predicted.

But the number of practices achieving every point available has dropped.

In 2005/6 one practice in six achieved the maximum 1,050 point score, but figures released by Scotland’s Information and Statistics Department this week show that just 8 per cent of Scotland’s 1,017 practices participating in the programme scored the maximum points.

Welsh practices have seen a small fall in their average quality scores due in the main to the changes to the clinical indicators.

The average Welsh quality score for 2006/7 was 947 points, down from 1,003 in 2005/6.

However, the 2005/6 figures included 50 points for access which have now been abolished – this means the average score has actually fallen by six points.

Welsh practices scored lowest in the new depression and mental health domains which brought down overall clinical achievement.

However, despite fears that chronic kidney disease indicators would be difficult to achieve, practices scored nearly 100 per cent of points in this area.

Practice size proved a significant factor in Welsh quality achievement with the smallest and largest practices doing worst. Practices with lists of over 10,000 scored lowest in clinical achievement. However, single-handed practices did least well overall with only 62.5 per cent scoring over 900 points compared with 84.3 per cent of all practices.

Dr David Bailey, chairman of GPC Wales, said he was very pleased with the Welsh figures: ‘I think it reflects very well on Welsh GPs that they have only dropped six points when there were 120 new points and indicators this year. It is a remarkable achievement when Welsh GPs are facing 14-15 per cent higher prevalence than elsewhere.’

neil.durham@haymarket.com

Wales quality scores: http://new.wales.gov.uk/topics/statistics/headlines/health-2007/hdw200709201/?lang=en

Northern Ireland quality scores: http://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/index/hss/gp_contracts/gp_contract_qof/qof_data.htm

Scotland quality scores: www.isdscotland.org/qof

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