Royal College of Nursing backs local NICE-reviewed quality framework

Proposals to introduce local, NICE-reviewed quality framework (QOF) indicators have been welcomed by the RCN.

The college believes that local QOF indicators could help tackle health inequalities, end of life care and public health issues.

In its response to the DoH’s consultation on reforming the way QOF indicators are assessed, the college welcomed suggestions that funding be reserved to finance local indicators.

It said: ‘The RCN supports local decision making [that] takes a holistic view and includes views from the entire primary care family, including nurses who are attached to but not employed by general practice, such as district nurses, health visitors and community midwives’.

The consultation also suggested that NICE could examine current indicators and that those that had reached a ceiling of achievement should be ‘retired’ and  no longer incentivised.

The RCN said the ability to measure variations performance geographically and over time needed to be consider. Introducing local incentives and frequent chnages of indicators may hinder this, it pointed out.

Proposals to introduce local indicators implied a trade-off, it said, which needed to be explicitly considered as part of the decision making process.

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