QOF achievement slumps as GP crisis takes toll

QOF achievement by GP practices in England fell by more than four percentage points in 2013/14, costing the average practice more than £5,600, official data show.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul: warned that QOF achievement would fall (Photo: JH Lancy)

The findings bear out predictions from senior GPs and accountants that the GP contract imposed by health secretary Jeremy Hunt that year would have a damaging effect on practice income.

Practices achieved 92.4% of the points available in 2013/14, compared with 96.7% in 2012/13, data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre reveal.

Just 162 practices out of more than 7,000 taking part scored the maximum points total of 900.

Average loss £5,600

With points worth £156.92 to the average practice, a four percentage point drop in QOF achievement cost practices around £5,600 on average.

The 2013/14 decline marked the first time that average QOF achievement had fallen for two successive years since the framework was introduced in 2005.

The decline in 2013/14 is much sharper than the previous year. In 2012/13 achievement fell by 0.8 percentage points.

Speaking after the contract deal was imposed in 2013, GPC chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul told GP: ‘From the outset, we warned the government that the effect of the imposition would be to add workload onto an overstretched workforce and it would be difficult to achieve the same level in QOF.

‘I would not be surprised if achievement was lower this year.’

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