MPs want local quality framework

The government should allow quality framework targets to be negotiated at a local level to address local priorities, according to the Health Select Committee.

Its report on workforce planning, published last week, added that the framework should be used to negotiate more exacting targets for improving standards.

The committee’s conclusion lent weight to the DoH report calling for primary care organisations to set up local quality initiatives to reward GPs for promoting healthy lifestyles (GP, 16 March).

However, local variation may be unpopular with GPs.

A GP survey found that 79 per cent of GPs think that the UK-wide contract should be kept (GP, 2 March).

The committee’s report found that DoH officials admitted that managers did not know how well GPs were performing against the framework indicators prior to their introduction.

‘It is therefore impossible to judge the level of improvement in GP performance in return for the substantial increases in income which accompanied the contract,’ it said.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said locally-negotiated quality framework points would be opposed.

‘Some PCTs can’t be trusted with this. It is the view of a group of MPs who do not understand what the quality framework is for,’ he said. ‘It is not a performance management tool, but instead a method of delivering evidence-based medicine.’

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