Plan for local QOFs raises postcode lottery fears

The GPC has warned that a locally determined quality framework will create a postcode lottery across the UK, after a DoH paper revealed that the idea is back on the agenda.

An NHS 'Next Stage Review' newsletter, published this month, shows the DoH and NICE plan to allow 'a greater local choice of indicators' in the quality framework.

The indicators will be sensitive to local health needs and priorities and could be selected from a 'national menu'.

A DoH spokesman told GP: 'A list of indicators of clinical quality which are available or could easily be developed will be online shortly for a consultative survey, to help us obtain expert feedback from frontline staff.'

The U-turn comes after Mark Britnell, the director general of the NHS, said that there was no suggestion there would be 152 different quality frameworks across the country (GP, 9 May).

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said: 'The current indicators are evidence based and apply to all patients no matter where they live.'

A local quality framework would create a postcode lottery and lead to fragmentation in care, he said. 'Having a national framework enables you to measure standards of care across the country,' he added.

But NHS Alliance chairman Dr Michael Dixon said a choice of targets would help balance local and national priorities.

'The menu could cover indicators aimed at tackling teenage pregnancies and obesity and even physical activity,' he said.

Dr Colin Waine, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, backed local targets for obesity. 'We know the areas with a high prevalence of obesity,' he said.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

Timeline: Local QOF

  • December 2007: National Primary Care Research and Development Centre calls for local variations in framework indicators.
  • April 2008: Professor David Colin-Thome, national clinical director of primary care, tells MPs the quality framework would address local issues.
  • May 2008: Mark Britnell, NHS director general, tells GP that a local quality framework is not on the agenda.
  • Sept 2008: DoH and NICE discuss local indicators.

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

BMA mourns 'dark death toll' as UK passes 100,000 COVID-19 deaths

BMA mourns 'dark death toll' as UK passes 100,000 COVID-19 deaths

More than 100,000 people have now died from COVID-19 in the UK, five times the death...

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

Viewpoint: End-of-life care in care homes goes well beyond COVID-19

Viewpoint: End-of-life care in care homes goes well beyond COVID-19

Best practice standards for GPs and teams caring for older people in care homes -...

Locum GPs left behind in patchy COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Locum GPs left behind in patchy COVID-19 vaccine rollout

COVID-19 vaccination for locum GPs has trailed behind the rollout to other doctors,...

Four in five over-80s have had first COVID-19 jab despite weekend slump in vaccinations

Four in five over-80s have had first COVID-19 jab despite weekend slump in vaccinations

Almost 80% of people aged over 80 in the UK have have had at least one dose of COVID-19...

Fitness to practise and revalidation to continue despite pandemic, GMC confirms

Fitness to practise and revalidation to continue despite pandemic, GMC confirms

Revalidation and ongoing fitness to practise cases will continue despite huge pressure...