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The waiting game

DH reveals list of 20 indicators it wants GPs to work harder for

The Department of Health has released a list of 20 QOF indicators it wants see the upper thresholds raised to reflect the performance of the top quarter of practices from April 2013.

The list of indicators it wants GPs to work harder for include those incentivising practices for keeping blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control in patients with coronary heart disease, flu vaccinations in patients with diabetes and post-stroke and providing smoking cessation advice.

Click here for full list of indicators.

The DH said that it wanted to begin with the 20 indicators that had the ‘best research evidence that they save lives’ in 2013/14, but from April 2014 all indicators would have their upper threshold increased in line with the highest quartile of performance.

It has also revealed that the lower threshold will also be fixed 40 percentage points below the upper threshold to ‘encourage continuous quality improvement’.

The move to increase the upper threshold in line with the performance of the upper 25% of practices has been criticised as risking patient care by the GPC.

But in a letter to the GPC setting out the changes published today, a DH official said that they did not think the change would incentivise the overtreatment of patients.

The letter says: ‘Practices will continue to be able to exception report patients under the existing criteria, including where the interventions are clinically inappropriate or for patients who exercise informed dissent.

‘We do not therefore believe there is any incentive to over-treat patients inappropriately as GPC have suggested.’

Readers' comments (5)

  • Vinci Ho

    You can see that coming . This looks like a road of no return .
    It is easy to keep moving the goal post but there are practical difficulties e.g. housebound patients , compliance and complications from life style factors etc.

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  • Retirement here I come

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  • Mark Struthers

    It's so glaringly obvious: these QOF indicator changes are in the big-corporate interest ... and not in the interest of patients or their doctors.

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  • Some indicators do not have exception codes and thus raising the target is akin to treating patients as though they are tins of bins. Clinical judgement shuld be allowed to prevail without suffering financial penalty. GPs know their patients best unlike Politicians or DH warriors who do not carry the clinical responsibility.

    I am concerned that arbitrary and theoretical judgements are being made by those in 'power' on a flawed premis. Theory and Practice are two very different things when applied to real people.

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  • I posted a comment here yesterday. I don't think I said anything inflammatory, except to make the point that Qof may be encouraging GPs to practice medicine as they were trained to do including prescribing medicines. This was related to the Qof on atrial fibrillation and anticoagulation. But the comment has been removed I see. Any reason?? I have no links with industry and do not get paid to promote any drugs, but do declare the interest that I would like to see the number of AF related stroke being reducued in this country. There are far too many devastated lives on our hospital wards for us to ignore this issue.

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