Best small practices held back by QOF thresholds

High-performing small practices are being held back because QOF thresholds are set too low to reward achievement adequately, a study suggests.

Dr Swinyard was not in favour of increasing QOF thresholds
Dr Swinyard was not in favour of increasing QOF thresholds

Researchers compared the performance of practices since the QOF was introduced in 2004, in terms of points scored and achievement rates.

They found that practices with fewer than 3,000 patients had greater variation in performance than larger practices.

Such practices made up 45.1% of the bottom 5% of practices, but also accounted for 46.7% of the top 5%.

The study’s authors believe that small practices are losing out because achievements over the maximum threshold are not rewarded.

Writing in the British Journal of General Practice, they said: ‘The payment system does not adequately recognise the achievements of high-performing practices, many of which are small.’

Dr Peter Swinyard, national chairman of the Family Doctor Association, would not be in favour of a move to 100% thresholds, despite the possible benefits for small practices.

‘100% is a silly threshold for anything,’ he said. ‘There are always some people you can’t get hold of.’ Dr Swinyard believes that increasing thresholds could demotivate GPs.

‘I actually think it doesn’t stimulate people to try harder, they’re more likely to give up’. He added: ‘It would increase people trying to game the system and exception report people they shouldn’t.

‘I don’t think it would improve the quality of care for patients.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Redacting information from medical records - advice for GPs

Redacting information from medical records - advice for GPs

MDU medico-legal adviser Dr Ellie Mein provides advice for GPs on reacting information...

Medicine shortages set to continue despite Brexit delay

Medicine shortages set to continue despite Brexit delay

Medicine shortages are unlikely to improve as a result of Brexit being delayed healthcare...

Doctors less likely to be investigated for 'one-off' mistakes under new GMC rules

Doctors less likely to be investigated for 'one-off' mistakes under new GMC rules

The GMC is introducing new measures to reduce the number of full investigations in...

RCGP revokes Sultan of Brunei's honorary title over anti-LGBTQ laws

RCGP revokes Sultan of Brunei's honorary title over anti-LGBTQ laws

The RCGP has revoked the honorary title it awarded the Sultan of Brunei following...

Financial considerations for primary care networks

Financial considerations for primary care networks

Specialist accountant Laurence Slavin highlights the financial issues that practices...

Number of CCGs could be cut by 75% by April 2020

Number of CCGs could be cut by 75% by April 2020

Measures to cut the number of CCGs in England by more than three quarters could be...