Welsh LMCs to debate dropping QOF from GP contract

Welsh GP leaders are to debate following Scotland by dropping the QOF from the GP contract.

North Wales LMC chairman Dr Eamonn Jessup
North Wales LMC chairman Dr Eamonn Jessup

LMC representatives will debate a proposal to negotiate an end to the pay-for-performance system at their annual conference in Chester next weekend.

The conference will also debate whether a salaried service or the independent contractor model is the future of general practice.

Conference chairman Dr Eamonn Jessup said the big issues facing LMCs remained the recruitment and retention crisis. ‘We can’t recruit and we can’t stop people leaving,' he said. ‘North Wales is a desert for GPs.’

Salaried GP service

Dr Jessup, chairman of North Wales LMC, said the debate about a salaried service was important for the future of the profession. There may be ‘growing support’ among younger GPs for a salaried service, he said. ‘This debate is needed for looking to the future.'

‘I think trying to find a solution to suit all is going to be the challenge for negotiators to take forward.’

North Wales LMC has proposed a motion to drop the QOF. Some GPs, said Dr Jessup, feel that while the framework was set up with good intentions and worked well, it has become more bureaucratic.

GP workload

‘The constant changing of the points and constant tick-boxing has become unbearable,' for some GPs, he added. 'In a way QOF is ok if you have a glut of GPs as we had about 10 years ago. Now we have the opposite and QOF is just in the way.'

However, GPs in the Welsh cities where there is less of a workforce problem and those in bigger practices which do well from the QOF may argue to keep it, added Dr Jessup

The conference will also debate a call to suspend the withdrawal of MPIG correction factor payments pending a funding review. 

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