Pared-back QOF could be retained in England following review

A pared-back QOF could be retained in England following the current review of the framework, according to the RCGP's vice chair.

RCGP vice chair Professor Martin Marshall (Picture: Pete HIll)
RCGP vice chair Professor Martin Marshall (Picture: Pete HIll)

Professor Martin Marshall told the Londonwide LMCs conference that it was ‘very unlikely that England will just abolish [the QOF] and leave a vacuum in the way that Scotland did.’

He said that ‘one of the discussions that is going on at the minute is whether we should shift QOF a bit’, which would involve reducing the number of indicators and using the remaining funding to pay practices to engage with quality improvement activities.

Professor Marshall said the QOF could become ‘a much smaller, much more focused set of indicators with a smaller amount of funding attached, and a larger amount of that money going into managing complex activities through quality improvement programmes.

‘So a practice in one year might start working on childhood obesity, working with a range of partners in a quality improvement programme, and get paid for doing that work.’ This work would not involve ‘tick-boxes’, he added.

Reduced QOF

‘That to me seems a much more sensible way of taking the system forward if GPs are willing to take the shake-up that would require – and that, I think, is a really big challenge,’ Professor Marshall said.

In 2016, the GPC and NHS Employers said that future contract talks would explore ending the QOF and it seemed likely that England would follow Scotland and abolish the framework. The following year, negotiations had moved towards 'examining the future of the QOF'. Any changes were expected to be introduced in April this year, but this deadline has been missed.

GPs in England could face a significant overhaul to their contract in 2019/20. Along with the QOF, the funding formula, partnership model and GP premises are also currently being reviewed by the BMA, Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England.

A final decision about how the QOF could change will be subject to contract negotiations between the BMA and the government.

Scotland scrapped the QOF in April 2016 and the associated funding was transferred into core pay. This year the QOF in Wales was stripped back to disease registers only, apart from flu targets which remain in place.

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

GP at Hand should only be allowed to provide NHS 111 services, says BMA

GP at Hand should only be allowed to provide NHS 111 services, says BMA

Babylon GP at Hand should no longer be allowed to register patients and instead be...

A financial guide for GP locums

A financial guide for GP locums

Medical accountant Jenny Stone provides a guide to pensions, setting your fees and...

Paying tax as a GP locum

Paying tax as a GP locum

Medical accountant Jenny Stone explains how you pay your tax as a GP locum.

DNA testing could be part of NHS health checks under government plans

DNA testing could be part of NHS health checks under government plans

The DHSC has launched a review of NHS health checks, with a view to introducing a...

Most GPs now see locum work as most attractive career option, poll reveals

Most GPs now see locum work as most attractive career option, poll reveals

More than half of GPs now believe locum work is the most attractive career option...

Patients in deprived areas find it harder to get GP appointments

Patients in deprived areas find it harder to get GP appointments

Three out of five people living in the most deprived areas in England find it difficult...