GP QOF achievement rises after reduction in targets

GP QOF achievement rose for the first time in two years to 94.7% in 2014/15, following changes to the GP contract which saw a third of the framework's targets dropped.

A total of 448 practices achieved the full 559 points available in 2014/15, 6% of the 7,779 participating practices in England overall, according to QOF achievement data published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) on Thursday.

The rise follows a sustained slump in QOF achievement over the last two years. 2013/14 saw QOF achievement drop by more than four percentage points, costing the average practice more than £5,600, after the government altered the contract to make targets harder to achieve.

For 2014/15, the average achievement score for practices was 529.6 points out of 559 – a 94.7% achievement rate and 1.2 percentage points up from the preceding year. Achievement was 93.5% in 2013/14.

The rise in achievement coincides with the QOF being slashed by over a third in the 2014/15 contract, which saw the points on offer drop from 900 in 2013/14 to 559.

This was a consequence of two QOF domains, three groups of indicators and 26 other individual indicators being retired.

GP QOF achievement

2014/15 marked the QOF’s tenth year after it was first introduced as part of the new 2004 GMS contract.

Although participation in the QOF is voluntary for practices, almost 99% in England took part in it over the last year, including most PMS practices.

It has been a rough year for the QOF, with nine in 10 GPonline readers saying it should be scrapped or scaled back in the upcoming contract.

GPs at the 2015 LMCs conference narrowly voted against scrapping it completely while the RCGP publicly called on the government to ditch it following the general election.

The Scottish government and Scottish GPC have confirmed that the QOF north of the border is currently being ‘dismantled’ and will be dropped from April 2016.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said: 'These figures demonstrate that practices are working hard to deliver the best possible care to their patients despite the huge workload pressures and funding cuts they have had to contend with. This increase in QOF achievement is a reflection of the dedication and hard work throughout the year by GPs, practice nurses, practice managers and other practice staff who work together to ensure that the primary care patients receive is the best in the world.'

Photo: iStock

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