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Gold, incentives and meh

Major changes due for 2008 QOF

GPs face 'major changes' to the QOF in 2008 with new disease areas and tougher thresholds, a leading expert has claimed.

Professor Martin Roland, one of the architects of the QOF, has warned a complete overhaul is planned for the review after next to ensure it continues to drive patent care.

Professor Roland, director of the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre, said: 'There will be no revision planned for next year, but a major one is planned for 2008.

'That has been agreed for ages and it is as it should be. It's a question of getting the balance right between introducing sensible indicators while not wanting to burden GPs.'

Professor Roland said there was 'an argument' that if

exception reporting was to be retained, top thresholds should be 100 per cent.

Department of Health sources told Pulse that ministers continued to believe the QOF was too easy and wanted thresholds for every indicator tightened.

But the GPC said it was

unaware of any planned overhaul. 'The next QOF review is

in process and no "major review" is planned for any particular date. We have not discussed 2008.'

Chris Dowse, head of primary care contracting at NHS Employers, said: 'We have not yet received a mandate for 2008/09. Negotiators have agreed, though, that the QOF is a "living thing" subject to a process of change and improvement.'

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