In a letter sent to GPs in Scotland today, GPC Scotland chairman Dr Alan McDevitt said his negotiating team had agreed ‘substantial amelioration’ of the DH plans for the GMS 2013/14 contract in England.
Changes include certain indicators not being introduced, exception reporting applying to some indicators where it was not previously proposed, and plans for GPC Scotland and the Scottish government to change QOF guidance to ensure it is suitable for Scotland.
There will be ‘modest increases’ in thresholds for 10 clinical QOF indicators, Dr McDevitt said.
‘These threshold increases were accepted on the basis that the Scottish government agreed to limit increases for upper thresholds to protect against unnecessary/overtreatment of patients,’ he said.
Dr McDevitt confirmed there will be no upper threshold indicator above 90% in Scotland in 2013/14.
Although he said that the majority of NICE clinical QOF recommendations will be implemented ‘due to recognition that the clinical QOF should be broadly the same across the UK’, substantial changes have been made, he said.
‘I believe these arrangements will improve patient care and go some way to mitigating workload pressures’, Dr McDevitt said in the letter. ‘The success of the negotiations provides a degree of stability for developing general practice and its role in the integration of health and social care in Scotland.’
He confirmed that the Scottish government will await the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body (DDRB) recommendation on GP pay, expected in February, before it decided on an uplift.
The uplift will be applied to the global sum, Dr McDevitt said, with an element increasing payments to all practices and an element recycled against the correction factor of those practices which are still supported by such payments.