QOF cut may benefit global sums

The government is considering cutting quality framework funding, to end reliance on the MPIG without increasing investment, GP has learned.

The move under discussion involves changing the way existing money is distributed, so that more comes through global sum, according to Dr David Jenner, GMS contract lead at the NHS Alliance.

‘You can't deny that the quality framework has worked. But it has done its job,' said Dr Jenner. This move ‘would need fundamental renegotiation of the contract. But I think the government is up for it', he added.

The change would be a return to early drafts of the new contract, before the government decided to place more emphasis on the quality framework.

At present, 90 per cent of practices receive MPIG, because they are paid less under the global sum than they were under the old contract.

If global sum funding were increased, fewer practices would qualify for MPIG. But a simultaneous cut in quality framework funding would mean this could be achieved without extra spending.

A DoH spokesman said: ‘The DoH keeps the contract under regular review. There are a number of options being considered as part of that ongoing review.'

Doctors say that the change would destabilise those practices that lost out, and could lead to cuts in services.

Dr Laurence Buckman, GPC chairman, warned: ‘If you want work done you've got to pay for it. Defunding the quality framework is the antithesis of delivering high quality services.'

jonn.elledge@haymarket.com

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