UK countries to take separate decisions on QOF suspension, but local flexibility unclear

The quality framework (QOF) can be suspended in individual countries rather than on a UK-wide basis, the DoH has said.

Photograph: Istock
Photograph: Istock

However, there is still confusion over whether the QOF can be suspended locally.

The GPC has called for the QOF to be suspended in cities where GPs are swamped with swine flu cases, but latest guidance from the DoH seems to suggest that QOF suspension can only be done nationally.

A DoH spokeswoman said: ‘As agreed by the GPC, if implemented, the Pandemic Flu Statement of Financial Entitlements would apply to all practices in England - rather than specific areas - on the national GMS contract.’

The DoH had previously suggested that it would be down to SHAs to decide whether to suspend national or local targets.

The DoH has also said that a decision has not yet been made as to what will trigger QOF suspension, and has highlighted a need for talks with the GPC to discuss the actual activation date before bringing QOF suspension into effect.

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