Exclusive: GPs reject NICE as developer of QOF indicators

GP survey reveals fear that QOF will be undermined by rapid change and focus on cost-effectiveness.

Half of GPs believe NICE should have no role in assessing QOF indicators, amid fears the institute's involvement could undermine the quality system, GP can reveal.

The findings of a poll of 409 GPs found that 49 per cent do not wish to see NICE involved in developing indicators. Just 30 per cent said it should have a role, while the rest were unsure.

Several respondents warned that NICE's involvement would skew the QOF towards cost-effectiveness rather than clinical effectiveness.

Only 8 per cent of GPs agreed with NICE proposals to change QOF indicators every year.

A total of 48 per cent said they should change every three years.

'There needs to be some stability rather than this ridiculous goalpost-moving every year,' said one respondent.

Others expressed concerns that changing QOF targets annually would confuse patients and GPs, and could undermine the overall value of the clinical domains within the QOF.

The survey also showed GPs appear to be divided over the merits of local QOFs.

Overall, 43 per cent were in favour of quality points being taken from the national QOF and used by PCTs to set local targets.

However, 36 per cent were against the proposal, while 21 per cent said they were unsure.

One respondent warned that PCTs would use the additional funding to suit their own purposes rather than the needs of the local population.

The GPC has previously rejected the idea of a local framework, claiming that it would lead to fragmentation of care (GP, 20 February).

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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