NICE may force U-turn on changes to QOF

Ministers are set to face pressure from NICE to reverse controversial QOF changes, after the institute vowed to look at restoring an 'important' target lost in the 2013/14 GMS contract overhaul.

NICE: medicines reviews for patients with polypharmacy 'good practice'
NICE: medicines reviews for patients with polypharmacy 'good practice'

NICE advisers said offering medication reviews to patients with polypharmacy was good clinical care and should be paid for through the QOF.

A target for this was scrapped in England, along with the majority of the organisational domain, in the sweeping GMS contract changes for 2013/14. It was retained in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

GP leaders said the move showed the government had 'blindly' imposed QOF changes 'without due thought and consideration'.

The target, Medicines 11, paid the average practice about £1,000 to review patients taking four or more drugs. NICE guidance encourages such checks to improve adherence and reduce harm.

At a meeting in Manchester earlier this month, a committee of NICE advisers on the QOF agreed to develop an indicator to restore this requirement, and the payment, to the contract.

Committee chairman Dr Colin Hunter, a GP in Aberdeen, said the target was 'a worthy and important area' of care to consider reintroducing. The new indicator is likely to target high-risk groups first.

GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul said NICE had never recommended that Medicines 11 and many other targets should be scrapped. 'The big problem is the QOF changes were unilaterally imposed without due thought and consideration.

'The government didn't consider the consequences of implementing a whole tranche of changes in one year.'

He said the government had 'misused' NICE's advice: 'The changes to QOF have been the making of the government itself.'

NICE will now run a consultation and pilots lasting several months. If approved, the indicator would be unlikely to re-enter the QOF before 2015/16.

Asked whether NHS England would consider reversing the QOF changes in the next GP contract, a spokeswoman said: 'Any change to the GMS contract is subject to negotiation with the GPC in the usual way.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Redacting information from medical records - advice for GPs

Redacting information from medical records - advice for GPs

MDU medico-legal adviser Dr Ellie Mein provides advice for GPs on reacting information...

Medicine shortages set to continue despite Brexit delay

Medicine shortages set to continue despite Brexit delay

Medicine shortages are unlikely to improve as a result of Brexit being delayed healthcare...

Doctors less likely to be investigated for 'one-off' mistakes under new GMC rules

Doctors less likely to be investigated for 'one-off' mistakes under new GMC rules

The GMC is introducing new measures to reduce the number of full investigations in...

RCGP revokes Sultan of Brunei's honorary title over anti-LGBTQ laws

RCGP revokes Sultan of Brunei's honorary title over anti-LGBTQ laws

The RCGP has revoked the honorary title it awarded the Sultan of Brunei following...

Financial considerations for primary care networks

Financial considerations for primary care networks

Specialist accountant Laurence Slavin highlights the financial issues that practices...

Number of CCGs could be cut by 75% by April 2020

Number of CCGs could be cut by 75% by April 2020

Measures to cut the number of CCGs in England by more than three quarters could be...