Letter of the week: Doing QOF entries in batches is not fraud
QOF points are always tricky. Yes, we should input data at the time of seeing the patient, but sometimes information is on forms that get forgotten until a practice manager gets upset.
On 30 March each year, the data goes in, QOF indicators get updated and calm descends for another year. So, just because blood pressures are all entered at the same time doesn't mean they're fraudulent. Particularly difficult are the depression scores, which are of no help to anyone. In fact, I think my practice is less safe since this target was introduced as I spend time doing a PHQ9 instead of developing relationships with my patients and properly checking for suicidal ideation, which I can't do by reading out a question.
When the new contract came in we were told there would be no new work without new money. We were told it would be evidence based. It is not gaming but tightening up on record keeping when we exempt people from QOF indicators. I have many 90-year-olds with polypharmacy- induced health problems. Exempting patients could also be seen as a response to the political gaming of changing the goalposts without consultation or evidence.
From Dr Alice Hodkinson
Saffron Walden, Essex