Hundreds of QOF points reassigned

A quarter of all QOF points will be affected by changes to the 2011/12 GMS contract.

Andrew Lansley: GP contract will secure 4% of efficiency savings (Photograph: P Hill)
Andrew Lansley: GP contract will secure 4% of efficiency savings (Photograph: P Hill)

Negotiations between NHS Employers and the GPC have stripped 116.5 points from domains including patient experience, depression and BP. A dozen indicators will be 'retired' under the move.

The released points, worth about £130 million, will be used to fund new 'quality and productivity' indicators, worth a total of 96.5 points. In addition, indicators worth a further 131 points will be redefined in line with NICE advice.

The deal, which takes effect from 1 April, includes many changes held over from 2010/11 when the QOF was frozen due to the swine flu pandemic.

The quality and productivity indicators will pay GPs to reduce referrals and emergency admissions to hospital by developing alternative care pathways and through more effective prescribing.

Summary of QOF Changes
  • 92.5 points-worth of indicators 'retired', including two patient experience indicators.
  • 24 points stripped from depression and BP domains.
  • New indicators for learning disability, epilepsy and dementia.
  • 96.5 points reassigned to a new quality and productivity domain.
  • Indicators worth 131 points re-defined following NICE advice.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said: 'The new indicators will both support and encourage peer review of prescribing and referral activity with the aim of developing new care pathways.' However, as GP went to press, the final wording and points distribution for the quality and productivity indicators had yet to be released.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley said: 'I am pleased we have reached an agreement which puts better care for patients and more effective use of NHS resources at the centre of 2011/12 GMS contract changes.'

He said the deal would secure the 4% efficiency gains expected from primary care as part of the NHS efficiency drive.

The negotiations herald a major change to the QOF. Twelve indicators have been 'retired' - removed as they are now standard practice - in the contract shake-up.

These include separate indicators for BP, cholesterol and HbA1c checks for patients with CHD, diabetes or stroke.

In addition, negotiators accepted new indicators for epilepsy, learning disability and dementia worth a total of 12 points. Upper thresholds for CHD6, Stroke6 and DM30 have been increased to 71%.

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