MPs urge self-care targets in the QOF

The QOF should be used to encourage GPs to promote self-care during consultations, a report by MPs suggests.

GPs should encourage patients to self care, a report has suggested (Photograph: J Heath Lancy)
GPs should encourage patients to self care, a report has suggested (Photograph: J Heath Lancy)

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Primary Care and Public Health report says that patient engagement needs to intensify if the NHS is to improve efficiency and productivity.

The report said that incentives such as the QOF should be used to encourage NHS staff to include self-care education in consultations.

Universities and colleges should teach trainees to encourage patients to take responsibility for their health, it added. This would ensure a 'more fulfilling two-way consultation', which would create better health outcomes, it said.

Health minister Lord Howe agreed that patients should be far more involved in decisions.

'I want the relationship between doctors and patients to be a partnership, jointly making decisions about the individual patient's care,' he said.

'That allied to greater choice and better, more accessible information will deliver real benefits.'

The report, signed by politicians including Labour peer Baroness Thornton and GP Dr Sarah Wollaston, Conservative MP for Totnes, Devon, also expressed concerns about the scale and pace of the reforms.

It urged the DoH to take a 'more measured approach' to reform to ensure continuity of management and leadership.

It said this could be done by strengthening GP commissioning within current structures and reducing the size and number of PCTs gradually as functions transfer to consortia.

But Lord Howe said a 'halfway house' would not work. 'We want to get decision making about commissioning back into the hands of clinicians,' he said.

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