DoH looks at impact of axing QOF indicators

Evidence of the impact on patient care will be needed before indicators are removed from the quality framework (QOF), a DoH adviser has warned.

Speaking at the NICE annual conference in Manchester last week, GP Professor Helen Lester discussed the DoH's plans to retire quality indicators as others are introduced.

'We don't know what happens to achievement levels when you take indicators out of a system,' she said.

'We need to know that before we rush and decide to just take indicators out of the QOF.'

Professor Lester and her team are examining achievement levels with and without financial incentives for four indicators covering diabetes and hypertension that appear in both the QOF and US systems.

Results are expected to be available early next year.

Speaking to GP after the conference, Professor Lester said the findings would be important whatever was found.

'Whether performance slides or stays the same, there will be policy implications,' she said.

Professor Lester's team is also comparing achievement across indicators in the QOF.

'We will be actually able to say what happens to these other sorts of differently incentivised areas,' she said. 'When we have that information at least we're not just giving our best guess.'

GPC member Dr Simon Poole said he could not see a situation where there would not be a fall in the achievement for indicators that are no longer incentivised.

Practices see the QOF as a resourcing support for a framework of structured care, he pointed out.

'Even though indicators have become part of normal practice, there will not be the resourcing support for the structured population care,' he said.

'I fear that removal of some of the indicators will absolutely cause practices to refocus attention.'

tom.moberly@haymarket.com

Comment below and tell us what you think

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

£20 notes spread out

VAT trap for PCNs could strip millions of pounds from general practice

Tens of millions of pounds could be stripped from general practice because work carried...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Is the BMA representing GPs effectively, why GPs face a pension tax hit, and views on the workload crisis

In our regular news review the team discusses representation of GPs, a new survey...

Man sleeping

NICE guidance on insomnia backs app to replace sleeping pills

Hundreds of thousands of people with insomnia could be offered treatment via a mobile...

Health worker prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine

JCVI backs autumn COVID-19 booster campaign for high-risk adults and NHS staff

Frontline health and social care staff and adults at increased risk of severe illness...

GP consultation

Government accused of 'misleading' claims on general practice workforce

GP leaders have accused the government of making misleading claims about the general...

Consulting room door

LMC calls for enhanced access to be scrapped after abuse forces practice to close reception

A Midlands LMC has backed a practice forced to close its reception desk after abuse...