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A QOF for nurses? There'd better not be an eyelash-fluttering indicator

Listen very carefully… do you hear that muffled scream from the nurses’ office?

Listen very carefully… do you hear that muffled scream from the nurses' office?

Nursey is biting the pillow hard and choking back the tears because her Royal College has grudgingly admitted that her pay might have to be linked to her performance in future.

OK, the discussions are described by the Royal College of Nursing as 'very tentative' and 'at a very early stage' but no amount of head-tilting, saying 'Ah' and eyelash fluttering is going to change the fact that the eight hundred pound gorilla known as QOF Kong has broken free of his chromed steel chains and is heading their way.

But here's the interesting bit. GPs have fought tooth and nail to minimise the weighting given to patient feedback questionnaires and such, because we realise that an important part of our job is to say 'No' to a patient once in a while. On the other hand the RCN wants to make patient satisfaction the core of the assessment.

Because, at risk of re-stating the obvious, nurses never have to say 'No'. That's what doctors are for. Nurses say, 'Aw', 'Bless' and notice when a patient's had their hair done.

So let's get something straight here from the off. If (or should I say when) performance-related pay for nurses becomes a reality, I want their appraisal to be based on clinical performance and cost-effectiveness. Not on their fluffiness index.

Copperfield Copperfield

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