Scotland quality score praised despite drop

Scottish practices have confounded fears of a large dip in profits with an average of 970 quality framework points (97 per cent) being scored.

Despite 50 access points being removed, the average GMS practice netted £128,510, down from £134,073 on the previous 12 months - but higher than widely predicted.

However, the number of practices achieving every point available has dropped.

In 2005/6, one practice in six achieved the maximum 1,050 point score, but figures released by Scotland's Information and Statistics Department this week show that just 8 per cent of Scotland's 1,017 practices participating in the programme scored the maximum points.

Practices dropped an average of six points to 970.2 in the 12 months to 31 March 2007.

Many failed to meet targets for mental health and depression, where only 84.6 per cent earned points.

But fears that a patchy availability of the eGFR test for chronic kidney disease might skew the points achieved proved unfounded with 98.8 per cent of practices meeting the target.

Dr Dean Marshall, Scottish GPC chairman, said 'I am proud that once again Scotland's GPs have achieved these targets.

'There was a view taken by many, myself to some extent included, that the extra work needed to get these points was not worth it.

'It's a shame that politicians keep trying to politicise this. We are the first country in the world to have a truly evidence-based payment system and it's something we should be proud of - we are literally leading the world and many other countries are watching us very carefully.

'But politicians are so used to failure that when we succeed their immediate reaction is to say it's too easy, so they move the gateposts. That, frankly, I find insulting.'

Scottish average: 970 - Quality framework points per practice

Source: Scotland's Information and Statistics Department.

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