Viewpoint: Why NICE's QOF proposals fall short

NICE has made a bold attempt to overhaul the QOF but the result will not be enough to reduce the burden on practices, argues Wiltshire GP Dr Gavin Jamie.

Dr Jamie: 'Ultimately it is going to take much more than this to really change the QOF burden for practices.'
Dr Jamie: 'Ultimately it is going to take much more than this to really change the QOF burden for practices.'

It is fantastic that the whole of the QOF can be reviewed in a public way. It is particularly pleasing that the [NICE QOF advisory] committee can look at many of the indicators that were originally suggested by its previous meetings.

However, removing cash without removing the work is really no solution to anything.

It does not reduce the pressure on practices; it does not make practices any more able to deliver care. In fact, it reduces the resources available to practices. It might make some areas simply unviable for practices.

This could be particularly dangerous in the so-called 'additional services'.

At the time of the new GMS contract a decade ago, the cash for these services, particularly cervical screening and contraception, was split between the global sum and the QOF.

GMS practices are completely within their rights to stop doing these and they may well do so if these services become unviable. They will lose a small amount of their global sum but cutting loss-making activities could be simply what practices need to do to survive.

Cutting these indicators will not reduce the burden on practices a great deal.

It seems likely that not all of the proposed removals will happen. The government has been reluctant in the past to remove the depression indicators when removal was previously suggested by NICE (interestingly in the same year NICE suggested the removal of the thyroid indicators).

Ultimately it is going to take much more than this to really change the QOF burden for practices. This is a good attempt to try to look at the QOF, but it is not at all clear if it will make any impact on the negotiations between NHS Employers and the GPC.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

BMA mourns 'dark death toll' as UK passes 100,000 COVID-19 deaths

BMA mourns 'dark death toll' as UK passes 100,000 COVID-19 deaths

More than 100,000 people have now died from COVID-19 in the UK, five times the death...

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

Viewpoint: End-of-life care in care homes goes well beyond COVID-19

Viewpoint: End-of-life care in care homes goes well beyond COVID-19

Best practice standards for GPs and teams caring for older people in care homes -...

Locum GPs left behind in patchy COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Locum GPs left behind in patchy COVID-19 vaccine rollout

COVID-19 vaccination for locum GPs has trailed behind the rollout to other doctors,...

Four in five over-80s have had first COVID-19 jab despite weekend slump in vaccinations

Four in five over-80s have had first COVID-19 jab despite weekend slump in vaccinations

Almost 80% of people aged over 80 in the UK have have had at least one dose of COVID-19...

Fitness to practise and revalidation to continue despite pandemic, GMC confirms

Fitness to practise and revalidation to continue despite pandemic, GMC confirms

Revalidation and ongoing fitness to practise cases will continue despite huge pressure...