QOF changes to slow transition to outcomes

NICE has released its menu of indicators for the 2011/12 QOF, covering BP, dementia, diabetes and mental illness.

NICE has released it menu of indicators for the 2011/12 QOF (Photograph: Jason Heath Lancy)
NICE has released it menu of indicators for the 2011/12 QOF (Photograph: Jason Heath Lancy)

The 10 new indicators will be considered by NHS Employers and GPC negotiators this winter and those accepted will be added to next year's QOF.

The proposed changes focus largely on processes, which could slow progress towards the outcomes-based QOF the DoH is keen to pursue.

Under the new indicators, GPs would have a wider range of treatment choices for MI patients. Other indicators promote checks for patients with dementia and mental illness, and foot tests for diabetes patients.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said he would expect 2011/12 QOF negotiations to be influenced by the DoH's desire to move towards outcomes-based indicators.

In a White Paper consultation document, the DoH said QOF was 'failing to deliver any significant degree of continuous quality improvement'.

'We want the QOF to focus more on the health outcomes that are achieved for patients and to provide incentives for continuous improvements,' it said.

Dr Vautrey said: 'A pure focus on outcomes alone may undermine the health inequalities gains QOF has made in recent years, as the evidence demonstrates the benefit of investing in process measures, which will ultimately achieve the best long-term outcome for all patients.'

Indicators selected by NHS Employers and the GPC will be added to the changes to the 2010/11 QOF agreed as part of the swine flu pay deal last year.

Click here for the complete menu of indicators

  • Expanded BP drug choice for MI patients.
  • Health checks for new dementia diagnoses.
  • Foot sensation tests for diabetes patients.
  • Risk classification for feet of diabetes patients.
  • Six indicators covering checks for patients with mental illness.


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