English GPs score 954 despite QOF changes

Quality framework achievement by practices in England in 2006/7 has dipped by six points - the same as in Wales and Scotland. The average practice achieved 954.5 of the 1,000 points.

Practices averaged 1,010 points out of 1,050 in 2005/6. However, when the 50 access points removed in 2006/7 are taken out of the equation, 2006/7 achievement is just six points down.

As with the rest of the UK, the lowest-scoring clinical indicators in England were for depression (80.8 per cent) and mental health (91.6 per cent). However, despite concerns, practices achieved an average of 97.5 per cent of points in chronic kidney disease (CKD).

The impact of new and more stringent targets has been far less dramatic than was widely expected.

However, the number of practices in England managing to score the maximum was halved, from a total of 813 in 2005/06 to just 427 in 2006/7.

Almost 74 per cent of England's 8,372 practices collected more than 950 points.

Last week GP revealed that practices in Northern Ireland had scored an average of 978 points, the same as in 2005/6 allowing for the removal of access points. Practices in both Scotland and Wales were both six points down, averaging 970 and 947 points respectively.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said GPs had again risen to the challenge and fared remarkably well.

'There have been significant revisions to the quality framework this year, which introduced new work for GPs that made it significantly harder for practices to achieve maximum points,' he said. 'But GPs and their staff have this year improved care for patients with depression, dementia and CKD.'

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