QOF depression achievement falls

Practice QOF scores for depression fell in 2009/10 as GPs struggled to gain points for the new DEP3 indicator, figures show.

Dr Dunn criticised the inclusion of patient survey results in QOF after scores in Northern Ireland fell by 8% to 80%.

Although overall achievement in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales did not change from 2008/09 to 2009/10, performance in the depression domain dropped by up to 10%.

Introduced in 2009/10, DEP3 is worth up to 20 points for assessing severity of depression 5-12 weeks after diagnosis.

Last year practices in Scotland achieved just 71% of available points for the new indicator, compared to over 90% in other depression indicators. As a result, achievement in the depression domain fell 10%.

Performance was similar in Northern Ireland, where practices gained 76% of DEP3 points, causing a drop of almost 9% in the depression domain as a whole.

Dr Brian Dunn, chairman of Northern Ireland GPC, said GPs had struggled to complete reviews within the time limit, which he believes should be expanded.

He also criticised the inclusion of patient survey results in QOF after scores in Northern Ireland fell by 8% to 80%. ‘We’re inundated by GPs who can show what access to general practice was, and that it doesn’t concord with the survey,’ he said.

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