GPC chairman praises QOF performance

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman has praised GPs for continuing to deliver excellent patient care, but warns that the latest QOF scores could be misinterpreted by patients as a drop in quality.

Dr Laurence Buckman
Dr Laurence Buckman

Practices in England averaged 954.2 points out of a possible 1,000 for 2008/9, 13.8 points less than the score achieved in 2007/8, according to latest figures from the NHS Information Centre.

But Dr Buckman said: ‘The continuation of high scores in the clinical domain shows that patients are still getting extremely good care from their GP practice.

‘Much of this work is preventative, meaning patients are benefiting from early diagnosis and treatment.

‘The dip in the Patient Experience QOF scores is a direct result of changes to the funding of the Patient Experience Survey and not because quality in this area has dropped.

‘Practices got very similar, high patient satisfaction results to last year's Patient Experience Survey, yet this year they have lost points and resources.'

It means that if patients look at their practice's QOF results they could end up with the impression that the quality of the practice, and patients' satisfaction with it, has declined, when this isn't likely to be the case, said Dr Buckman.

‘So as well as unfairly reducing resources for patient services the results are inevitably likely to be misinterpreted, and this is why GPs have so little faith in this survey,' he added.





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QOF score 2008/9 - England

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