Nearly half of clinical QOF points 'inactive' for 2017/18 under Welsh contract deal

The Welsh government has confirmed that 165 clinical QOF points - 40% of the total available in Wales - will become 'inactive' for 2017/18, with practices continuing to be paid in line with 2016/17 achievement.

Of the 407 clinical QOF points available in 2016/17 in Wales, around half will remain active while 40% become inactive and the remaining 10% are 'retired' and transferred to the Welsh 'cluster network domain'.

The cluster network domain, which incentivises practices across Wales to work in groups to develop population healthcare, will carry a total of 200 points in 2017/18, worth more than £30,000 for an average practice.

An indicator worth 70 points will incentivise practices to develop cluster-wide plans and monitor practices' activity. Quality insurance - including peer review of practices to monitor inactive QOF indicators, clinical and information governance is worth 50 points.

GP contract

Development of three-year practice development plans and assessment of practices' sustainability carries a further 30 points, with five points for a cluster annual report, and 45 points for taking part in three of five national clinical priority areas.

GPonline reported last month that a partial suspension of QOF agreed at the end of 2016/17 to ease pressure on GP practices in Wales, could be maintained into the 2017/18 financial year.

Securing agreement to make a significant tranche of QOF work 'inactive' is a significant success for the Welsh GPC, particularly given NHS England's refusal to drop any QOF targets at the end of 2016/17.

A deal agreed in Leeds to suspend QOF for the end of the last financial year - after problems with a pathology service left practices facing significant additional workload - was scrapped after NHS England intervened to block it.

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