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Independents' Day

QOF should be scrapped under 'new deal' for GPs, says RCGP

The RCGP is calling on the GPC to ‘replace QOF’, and has urged the Government to conduct an immediate review of the ‘unnecessary burden’ posed by CQC inspections in a bid to relieve the immense pressure on GPs.

In its ‘blueprint’ - which details how the Government can deliver on the Five Year Forward View to overhaul the NHS - the college calls for an ‘urgent full scale review into how the bureaucracy, red tape and unnecessary workload’ can be reduced and how to free up GP time to focus on ‘delivering high quality patient care’.

It says that the QOF is creating ‘unnecessary burdens’ on GPs, and says there should be new funding arrangements to replace it.

The RCGP also says that there should be an ‘immediate review’ of the role of the CQC, following the calls from the LMCs Conference to scrap the regulator, and a speech by Dr Chaand Nagpaul calling for an end to the inspection regime.

The RCGP’s plan for general practice - released in May to coincide with the election of the new Government - stressed the safety implications of general practice being ‘significantly overstretched’, as GPs are unable to make necessary innovations to ensure future patient care.

It said: ‘There are concerns that general practice does not have the capacity to withstand a major health crisis such as a national flu outbreak, and that GPs who want to spend more time developing new models of patient care are prevented from doing so by current pressure levels.’

This could partly be achieved by a review of QOF and the CQC, it said.

The report called for the Government to ‘immediately initiate discussions with the GPC to replace the QOF with a new funding arrangement that allows GPs more freedom to focus on providing the best possible holistic care to patients and eliminates unnecessary bureaucracy’.

The calls come after several CCGs have initiated moves to replace the QOF locally as part of plans to co-commission primary care, while health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said he would ‘scrap QOF if I could’.

The RCGP similarly called for an ‘immediate review of CQC inspections and regulatory processes to eliminate unnecessary burdens for  general practice, and to ensure that scrutiny is focussed in those areas where it is likely to have most beneficial impact’.

It follows similar calls by Dr Nagpaul, who said the Government must ‘end the punitive overregulation that’s suffocating general practice - among the top four reasons why GPs want to leave the profession.’

He told the LMCs Conference last month: ‘We managed to get rid of the shameful intelligent monitoring bands, but still have practice ratings without context and circumstance, and which misleads the public with crude proxies that demean the holistic care hard working GPs provide.’

The blueprint also revealed that later this year the RCGP will publish ‘recommendations looking specifically at the patient safety implications of the rise in GP workload levels and the associated dangers presented by GP fatigue’.

Readers' comments (32)

  • If we remove QOF that is based on NICE guidelines, then GPs will follow their own NICE (Now I Can Experiment) guidelines when treating their patients.

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  • The problem is it will just be replaced by some other overly bureaucratic hoop jumping politically induced wheeze

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  • I don't hate QOF.

    I do hate the RCGP sticking their oar in contractual matters outside their remit.

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  • Knowledge is Porridge

    Clearly the government and NHS England want and need the 5Y forward view stuff to happen. I expect they will negotiate locally on QOF and the whole contract, trying to offer a carrot for innovation. Everything is up for negotiation.
    Unfortunately the appetite for change may be from those whom are struggling the most and need the help. They don't have the resources to stand still, let alone redesign the NHS on a local level.
    I think there is a really positive shift away from privatising parts of the NHS here, but new organisations, the PACS, MCPs are going to take some years to grow.

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  • Drachula

    QOF focussed the mind. The problem is 12 month target means you have only 10 months to do the work (realistically). Also, ridiculous demands by CCGs who are supposed to represent GPs. LESs and other contracts' paperwork take GPs away from the real work, and the need to prove the work is done.
    How do we find a sensible way of assessing excellence in GP? And, for that matter, teachers and other public sector workers. Suffocation by the tyranny of information.

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  • Although I blame the RCGP and academic general practice for introducing performance related pay in the first instance, this is at least a glimmer of light in the darkness. Now it is up to politicians to respond. The profession MUST stand united behind these moves.

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  • I think the RCGP and all of its sycophants should be scrapped.

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  • I do not do QOF the nurses do. Get rid of QOF, the work will continue iaw NICE guidance,and the idiots at DoH, RCGP, GPC etc will come up with plans that involve even more work to maintain practice income.

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  • The QoF money will go into extending hours only and inspection regime will be CQC monitoring the old QoF indicators so we can be beaten with a stick, the government will acheive both quality and quantity on the broken backs of General Practice staff and GPS

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  • again, this is just an exercise of pushing some Zeros ( money ) from one account to the other and
    the DoH lo longer liking/'liking any responsibility to do with it :

    once the sh*t hits the fan they'll be happy to skid in and out of it and thennn,,,,,,drumroooollll: blame GPs lazy lot and looking to retire ?? before 65 --even some lucky ones aged 55
    the ( DoH and some colleagues) do not want to
    understand that , hmmmmm it's a job, a vocation a duty sometimes ( remember though : today's favour can be tomorrows duty ......) and when oh when are they likely to try and understand this ?
    SameDifDiffSh***t as the kids would say nowadays

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