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GPs struggle to earn mental health QOF points

By Lilian Anekwe

The 2006/7 QOF figures for practices in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has confirmed fears that indicators in some new areas have been harder to achieve – but shows GPs have risen admirably to the challenge in others.

Pulse exclusively revealed in June that achievement in new indicators, particularly depression, were lower – reflecting the complexity and extra work these areas presented.

Early figures obtained by Pulse revealed that the average practice scored a total of 624 points – and an average of 26.8 points out of 33 (81.2%) in depression, and figures from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for 2006/7 have confirmed these fears.

The Welsh Assembly report reveals in the areas of depression and mental health mean practice scores were less than 90 per cent for mental health; only 73.9% of depression and 86.7% of mental health targets were met.

Mean achievement was up slightly in Scotland, where practices scored 84.6 per cent of depression and 90.8% of mental health targets.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland, which achieved most quality points overall, did best on these clinical indicators. But it still only achieved 88.1 per cent of depression targets and 94.6 per cent of those for mental health.

GPs did fare better in chronic kidney disease management. Practices in Scotland scored an average of 98.8% of all available points for CKD indicators, 100% in Northern Ireland and 98% in Wales.

Welsh QOF data

Northern Irish QOF data

Scottish QOF data

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