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Independents' Day

BMA 'in discussions' around QOF payments for this year

Exclusive The BMA is 'in talks' around the future of QOF payments for the remainder of 2020/21, indicating that the payments may not be protected as some GPs believe, Pulse has learned.

At the beginning of the pandemic, QOF recording was suspended with practices told they would be paid based on previous performance.

But NHS England has now said QOF income in 2020/21 will be protected ‘as necessary to respond to Covid-19’ and was unable to say whether this meant targets could be reintroduced during the course of the year.

It said further details will be released shortly and a BMA spokesperson confirmed to Pulse that it is in discussions with NHS England over QOF payments and how they will be made.

NHS England said at the end of March that QOF income for 2020/21 would be protected, leading some GPs to believe this would be the case for the duration of the year.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said at the time the approach was to ensure ‘that funding does not influence clinical decision making’.

This was followed by a letter from the BMA’s GP Committee to practices in England outlining the measures being taken during the outbreak, which stated ‘QOF income for practices for 2020/21 will be protected’.

But in a statement to Pulse this month, an NHS England spokesperson, said: ‘QOF income will be protected as necessary to respond to Covid-19 in 2020/21 and we will share further details shortly.

‘Practices should continue to provide the care rewarded by QOF where this can be delivered safely and effectively within the current environment.’

A BMA spokesperson said: ‘We are in discussions with NHS England and Improvement over this. Practices should use remote consultations to complete QOF-related long term condition management where clinically appropriate, though we recognise some of this is not always possible.’

Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP committee chair, said: 'While GPs have innovated and adapted to new ways of working throughout the Covid crisis, we appreciate this is an uncertain time for many.

'We are doing all we can to ensure GPs are supported and receive proper funding for the work they do and have already done this year.'

The news comes as Pulse revealed last week that the Treasury has declined to sign off a request for reimbursement for Covid-19-related costs to GP practices until NHS England can provide further evidence.


Readers' comments (39)


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  • what a chuffing surprise
    agree with last man standing... on this
    NHS please take note; you will end up with a disinterested, non-engaged salaried workforce . value what you have at present, and don't continue to treat us like crap, or expect the worse

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  • It is government / NHSE policy and how most NHS managers I know operate. They will say any old reassuring sh*t at the time to get the job done. We are idiots for believing anything anyone says to us.

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  • Disgraceful if they renege on the QOF patients. This is what will upset most GPs. Certainly those of us trying to run a practice. It will also have a knock on effect on salaried and locum doctors. This bothers me far more than the behaviour of Dominic Cummings.

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  • There is NO discussion. QoF payments should be given.(Full stop)

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  • Warning is: Never trust them.

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  • There is no way we can squeeze 12 months of QOF work into 6 months while still social distancing. I think if this happens we should be balloting on strike action/work to rule/handing contracts back. Why do they hate us so much?!

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  • So they reserve the right to make GPs do other things Covid related, for this years QOF money?

    They need be clear quickly because if they won’t pay for QOF, how will they pay for Smears?

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  • What crap!! While we piss around over extra care home work and all the extra stuff we have done unpaid

    3 months into the qof year they change their mind!!

    BMA need to urgently get answer on this in the next week!!!! We need to plan - we will need to call in a lot of blood pressures etc

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  • Actually, this is not how I read it. I read it as below:

    the income for 19/20 was protected and based on the performance so far in the year.

    I noticed any information on 20/21 was sorely missing at the time.

    We already achieved full points in 19/20 so this was of no use to our practice. The problem is now, this year. The impact on QOF will be substantial and it is unsure this can be recovered in time for the end of March deadline. The longer COVID stays with us, the less likely it becomes anyone will be able to achieve well this year.

    Good luck to all. We can only do our best for our patients and hope our income over 20/21 will be protected and based on our achievements for 19/20. (we can dream, right?)

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