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Depression and CKD targets hit income

GPs are facing a sharp drop in income through the quality and outcomes framework after struggling to hit new targets on depression and chronic kidney disease.

Eighty-four per cent of GPs

approached by Pulse said their QOF points would drop this year – by an average of 29 points over and above the 50 on access that were removed from the framework.

This would mean an income drop of £3,625 for the average practice.

For the first time practices are giving up on certain indicators, particularly those on depression, which are frequently viewed as not worth the trouble.

Dr Harry Yoxall, secretary of Somerset LMC, said this year's scores would be 'down, without a doubt'. He added: 'The targets are harder. The evidence to support some of them is softer in a GP's view. It's become an economic decision – putting in the effort to achieve these extra points is not always worthwhile.'

Some GPs said they had been hamstrung by the way the new indicators had been implemented, problems with Read Coding and PCTs looking to claw back money.

Dr Richard Williams, chair of Lothian LMC, said: 'With CKD there is a lesson there about how you introduce a new service. Some GPs feel the additional work is not going to be helpful.'

Dr John Rawlinson, chair of Berkshire LMC, said this year's QOF visits had been 'more investigative and more pernickety'.

Pulse questioned 25 GPs about their expected performance in this year's QOF – 21 said they expected scores to be down, with four unsure.

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