Scottish LMCs vote to scrap pay-for-performance QOF

GPs at the Scottish LMCs conference have backed a motion calling for the QOF to be separated from practice income, in a move that could lead to the end of the pay-for-performance framework in the country.

Dr Neil MacRitchie: end link between QOF and GP pay
Dr Neil MacRitchie: end link between QOF and GP pay

Scottish GPC chairman Dr Alan McDevitt has said the 2015 Scottish LMCs conference in Clydebank, near Glasgow, will shape the GPC's negotiating stance in contract talks that could lead to a radically different contractual framework for Scotland's GPs from 2017.

The motion proposed by Grampian LMC said: 'This conference recognises the quality improvements that the QOF has brought over the last decade, but feels that in the future the delivery of these aspects of care should be separated from GP practice income.'

Grampian LMC's Dr Neil MacRitchie, who proposed motion at the conference on Friday, said: 'GPs have exceeded expectations of the QOF and targets have been increased or added. GPs are disillusioned.'

He added that although the QOF is 'optional in theory', such a large proportion of funding is attached to it that it has been difficult for practices to opt out.

Scrap QOF funding

'I would suggest we keep the good bits but lose the contractual area,' Dr MacRitchie told the conference, adding that the clinical aspects of the QOF were good.

One GP, backing the motion, told the conference: 'QOF has helped deliver high quality care but is a real burden that gets in the way of consultations. '

Dr Patricia Donald, from Lothian LMC added: 'We need need a new style and name. QOF works in silos but patients aren't that way. We need a new system that looks at the whole patient.'

Dr Duncan lamont, from Forth Valley, said: 'We do QOF because if we don't, we don't get paid. If we don't get paid for what we do then we get mediocrity.'

GPs at the conference also backed as a reference a later motion calling for QOF funding to continue to be transferred into practices' core funding.

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