NICE outlines new targets for potential 2020/21 QOF overhaul

NICE has published indicators that could be added to the QOF from 2020/21 under a planned revamp of targets on asthma, COPD and heart failure.

QOF asthma change (Photo: Martin Barraud/Getty Images)
QOF asthma change (Photo: Martin Barraud/Getty Images)

The changes could be implemented as part of plans set out in NHS England's 2018 QOF review, which proposed scrapping up to one in four existing indicators. The review also set out plans for a remodelled exception reporting system, new targets and changes to existing targets.

NICE has also proposed indicators 'to support people in reducing their alcohol consumption' and a new target to measure multimorbidity.

Four indicators proposed in the list published by NICE aim to improve diagnosis and care for people with asthma.

QOF targets

The targets - which could take effect from 2020 after talks between the BMA and NHS England - encourage GP practice staff to assess patients' asthma control with a validated asthma control questionnaire, a recording of the number of exacerbations and a written personalised action plan as part of an annual review.

NICE said that assessing use of short-acting beta agonists and recording exacerbations 'can help identify people with asthma who are at increased risk of poor outcomes', and provide the information they need to self-manage their condition.

Proposed COPD targets aim to reduce risk of misdiagnosis and overtreatment by highlighting the importance of objective testing to confirm a diagnosis of COPD, while a potential indicator for people with heart failure reduces the timeframe in which an echocardiogram or specialist assessment should take place.

Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director of health and social care at NICE said: 'There is currently no gold standard test for asthma which makes diagnosing a particularly difficult task for clinicians. It’s important that GPs take the appropriate steps to avoid misdiagnosing the condition which can lead to overtreatment. These new indicators should increase the likelihood of improved outcomes and support the personalisation of care for people with asthma.'

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