QOF undermines GP/patient relationship, warns think tank

The GP/patient relationship is being undermined by the government's target culture, according to think tank Civitas.

Credit: iStockphoto/Kris Jacobs
Credit: iStockphoto/Kris Jacobs

Its report ‘Checking-up on doctors’ says the quality framework (QOF) offers inappropriate financial incentives that can distract GPs from providing high quality personalised care for patients.

Author James Gubb, director of the Civitas health unit, said: ‘The QOF should be downsized and downscaled sooner rather than later.’

The report adds that GPs are placed in a ‘game’ to achieve maximum points and income in linking up to a third of GP income to performance against a range of indicators.

Mr Gubb added: ‘This is dangerous. There are many reasons why high quality care for patients, particularly the elderly with complex medical conditions, may not fit well with what is mandated by the framework. This opens it up to abuse.’

neil.durham@haymarket.com

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