NICE bid to 'reverse' part of QOF overhaul

NICE will consider advising ministers to reinstate what its experts say are essential QOF indicators that could be lost under the government's proposed GP contract changes, GP can reveal.

NICE: panel warning over loss of QOF organisational indicators
NICE: panel warning over loss of QOF organisational indicators

The institute will review whether indicators in the organisational domain that are due to be scrapped under the government's proposals should be rebranded as clinical targets to keep them in the framework.

The review follows advice from NICE's independent panel of QOF experts, which said it was vital some of these measures are retained.

The government had said it wanted to strip organisational domains from the QOF because the targets now ‘represent basic standards that all practices will be expected to meet’ as part of registration with the Care Quality Commission.

The issue arose at the biannual QOF advisory panel meeting in Manchester today during a discussion over introducing new polypharmacy targets.

The panel heard that although the current QOF target - Medicines 11, which pays practices to annually review patients taking four or more drugs - was not perfect, it was 'the best option available' at present.

A member of the advisory panel said there was a 'huge need' for these patients to continue to undergo annual review. But the panel heard how this target could be lost if the organisational domain to which it belongs is dropped as planned by the government in April.

The experts agreed that this may not be the only indicator to be lost that should be re-examined.

The panel said it would ask NICE to review the whole organisational domain to define which areas could be reintroduced into the clinical domain to retain these key activities.

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