GPC backs 'bold step' as Simon Stevens says QOF has reached end of the road

GPC chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul has backed the 'phased removal of QOF' after NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said on Wednesday that the framework had reached the end of its useful life.

GPC chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul

Dr Nagpaul said: 'We agree that QOF has reached the end of its useful lifespan, and it is good that Simon Stevens agrees with the BMA’s GPs committee as we have already called for the end of QOF in our Urgent Prescription for General Practice.

'This bold step, long overdue, will have a positive effect on practices by reducing bureaucracy and box-ticking, and allowing GPs to focus on the complex care needs of their patients.

GMS contract

'It is important that the phased removal and end of QOF should apply equally to all practices, regardless of their contractual status, and must not be used as a lever for movement away from the current contract to a voluntary local contract. We believe that patients’ needs are best served under a national GP contract that provides nationally specified consistent standards of care.'

Mr Stevens made the comments on QOF as he announced that 300 GP practices would receive funding for premises and technology infrastructure in 2016/17 as part of a government programme to invest £900m of capital spending on primary care by 2020/21.

A GPonline poll earlier this year found that around two thirds of GPs backed scrapping the QOF, and the BMA and NHS England committed to explore how to phase out the framework as part of the 2016/17 GMS contract agreement.

In Scotland, the QOF was scrapped from April this year as part of a drive to move a greater share of GP funding into practices' core pay.

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