GPC to monitor QOF review group

Details of how GPs will be involved in NICE assessments of quality framework (QOF) indicators have been welcomed by the GPC.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said that discussions with NICE over the role of GPs in reviewing indicators had gone well so far.

'It has entered into a very positive dialogue with us,' he said. 'I am relaxed now we have had our discussion with NICE.'

However, he stressed that it would be important to see how the committee operates when it begins working.

'If all it is doing is supervising, then the panel remains independent and still comes to the negotiators,' he says. 'From what I gather, NICE wants nothing to do with the political process.'

GPs are to sit on the NICE committee reviewing indicators for inclusion in the QOF, the institute has revealed. It says that those sitting on the committee will 'take some of the most difficult decisions in public life'.

The committee will prioritise suggestions for clinical and health improvement indicators for inclusion in QOF. It will also examine the uptake of indicators, and the outcomes of pilots and make recommendations on new indicators.

The committee, which will meet two or three times a year, will also include patients and carers, practice and community nurses and health economists and commissioners.

NICE has stressed the need for members to be independent.

'Committee members are not appointed to act as representatives of a particular organisation,' it says. 'They will be expected to apply the experience and judgment from their individual backgrounds.'

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