Scottish GPs set for QOF threshold drop after vaccination success

Scottish practices are set to receive relaxed QOF thresholds after achieving higher swine flu vaccine uptake rate than last year's seasonal flu vaccine.

Scotland's average uptake rate is currently 54.3% among at-risk people under 65 years, according to Health Protection Scotland.

In October 2009, NHS Employers and GPC agreed that a practice would be granted relaxed QOF thresholds for the next flu season if it achieved a minimum swine flu vaccine uptake rate among at-risk groups.

This minimum was 50.7% in the JCVI priority group one, defined as at-risk people aged six months to 65 years. The higher average uptake rate means many Scottish practices will achieve this QOF reward.

Similar data for practices in England has not been disclosed by the DoH but is believed to be significantly lower.

The DoH said the uptake rate is an incentive for practices to increase vaccination efforts, but refuted that it was a clinical target.

‘We have never set targets for vaccinations but we want to make sure that GPs who vaccinated high numbers of patients are compensated,' said a DoH spokesperson. ‘This is in recognition of the extra work from swine flu vaccinations.'

The reward for practices includes a 10% drop in the upper and 20% drop in the lower thresholds of indicators PE7 and PE8.

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