Johnson targets QOF to tackle obesity

The quality framework (QOF) will be used to tackle the obesity crisis, claimed health secretary Alan Johnson.

Alan Johnson
Alan Johnson

Giving a lecture on obesity at the Fabian Society in London last night, Mr Johnson said: ‘QOF’s a crucial part of this.’

However, ‘sensitive talks’ are still to take place with the BMA or the DoH’s ‘political enemies’, he said.

‘We’re ensuring we’re not overloading the QOF system, but yes it’s a crucial part of this.’

It confirms hints in the Next Stage Review by health minister Lord Ara Darzi that the quality framework will be redesigned to focus on preventative health strategies including tackling obesity. Currently the quality framework incentivises GPs to measure obesity, but not to intervene.

But Mr Johnson is not solely relying on primary care to tackle the problem.

‘Tackling obesity requires a much broader partnership, not only with families, but with employers, retailers, the leisure industry, the media, local government and the voluntary sector,’ he said.

‘We need a national movement that will bring about a fundamental change in the way we live our lives.’

Editor’s blog: Do you 'hug a fatty' or make them walk?

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