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Patients oppose plans for local QOFs

Patient groups have lined up beside the GPC in opposition to plans for local QOFs, claiming they could be detrimental to patient care.

David Pink, chief executive of National Voices, an umbrella organisation representing over 150 patient groups and charities, said local QOFs would 'hugely disadvantage' patients.

He added: 'It's difficult to see how the same well-managed decisions that are made at nationally could be made at a local level. It's not clear from the proposal why we need local QOFs if we have locally enhanced services.

'Health inequalities are not adequately addressed but they are not necessarily solved by local QOFs. I don't think the QOF is the problem.'

The criticism came as LMCs responded to the GPC's call to action with a raft of submissions to the Department of Health's consultation on the QOF strongly opposing plans for an overhaul.

Those obtained by Pulse all agreed with the GPC response published earlier this month, arguing that the changes would be unworkable and criticising plans to hand control to NICE.

Dr John Elder, a member of Lincolnshire LMC, said: 'There's considerable concern that NICE control will threaten practices' ability to plan for the future. NICE has already demonstrated that it's not willing or able to stand up to the Government.

He added: 'Removing indicators once they become embedded in primary care is where the proposals cease to be reasonable. It's not feasible to make plans for the future if our main income stream is dependent on fluctuations from one cycle to the next.'

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