QOF overhaul to shift 15% of targets to public health

At least 15% of QOF funding will be assigned to public health and primary prevention indicators from 2013, the DoH has outlined in its public health White Paper.

Dr Richard Vautrey: GPC will oppose a move to introduce a local QOF (Photograph: W Fry)

Proposals issued last week called for adjustments to give the QOF a greater emphasis on primary prevention.

This will include assigning at least £1 in every £7 of QOF funding to public health and primary prevention indicators from 2013.

But at a NICE meeting to decide indicators for 2013/14 last week, the institute said it had not yet been approached on the plans.

The White Paper, Healthy lives, healthy people, published last week, explains: 'To increase the incentives for GP practices to improve the health of their patients, the department proposes that a sum at least equivalent to 15% of the current value of the QOF should be devoted to evidence-based public health and primary prevention indicators from 2013.'

Funding for this will come from the DoH's new body, Public Health England.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said parts of QOF could already be described as public health-orientated and so a large overhaul may not be needed.

He said the GPC would oppose any move to introduce a local QOF to tackle regional public health issues. 'A local QOF is not appropriate. Patients should expect the same standard of care wherever they live,' he said.

Londonwide LMCs chief executive Dr Michelle Drage warned a local QOF may jeopardise the national contract.

At a meeting in Manchester last week, members of NICE's QOF review committee discussed indicators for inclusion in the 2013/14 QOF.

They said that the public health proposals had yet to be presented to NICE.

The committee also pointed out that QOF was already largely concerned with public health and that it was unclear how the new proposals would align with local priorities.

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