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GPs go forth

LMCs vote against abolition of QOF

The LMCs Conference has voted against removing QOF altogether, and criticised moves by local areas to opt out of the outcome framework.

The conference voted down a motion that demanded GPC negotiate the transfer of the remaining core clinical QOF points into core general practice funding.

It also agreed that local arrangements – such as those undertaken by Somerset LMC – to remove QOF ‘undermine national contract negotiations’ and could ‘potentially lead to worse financial outcomes for practices’.

The vote comes after the QOF was reduced by 40% from April and health secretary Jeremy Hunt suggested he would like to get rid of all the indicators in the framework.

Before a close vote, Dr Paul Abbot from Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LMC said: ‘It’s clear that QOF has to go.’

He added that he wanted conference to ‘allow the negotiators to build on their achievements this year’ and ‘slay the many-headed serpent it has become’.

Speaking against the motion, Dr Kieran Sharrock from Lancashire LMC said: ‘Yes, QOF is a tick-box monster. However, so is the core contract.’

‘QOF is the gateway for providing good quality care to our patients. But it is mainly administered through IT systems and is therefore quite easy. The demands of the core contract are administered by… practice managers, us, our partners. We spend as much time tick-boxing for the core contract as the QOF.’

Dr Andrew Green, representing the GPC, said: ‘We are trying to reduce QOF and put that money in the global sum, but we are not trying to abolish it. It does have good points, it does help the treatment of long-term conditions and reduces health inequalities.’

The conference also voted in favour of a motion stating that local QOF alternative schemes ‘could undermine national contract negotiations’.

Dr Ken Megson, chair of Newcastle LMC, said it is clear that local contracts ‘are on the agenda’ of NHS England.

He said: ‘It is a slippery slope with increasing inequity of pay terms and conditions across the nation.’

Motions in full

Motion 55 - Lost

CORNWALL AND ISLES OF SCILLY That conference believe QOF has become a box ticking monster and demand GPC negotiate the transfer of the rest of the core clinical QOF points into core general practice funding.

Motion 56 - Carried all parts

NEWCASTLE AND NORTH TYNESIDE That conference does not support any local QOF scheme or local contract that goes beyond what has been agreed as part of the nationally negotiated contract agreement and believes:

(i) such local arrangements could undermine national contract negotiations

(ii) local contracts could potentially lead to worse financial outcomes for practices.

Motion 57 - Carried

CAMBRIDGESHIRE That conference commends the flexibility demonstrated by some area teams in agreeing with LMCs early implementation of national QOF changes, designed to improve services to patients, in a way that does not undermine national negotiations.

Readers' comments (8)

  • Personally I think QOF is a ridiculous distraction from good patient care and is likely in part responsible directly or indirectly for the rising cost of health care. Consider QOF in relation to this article
    How much time and resources does QOF encourage to apparently lead to greater hospital admission rates?
    Pharmaceutical companies and those interested in creating bigger health consumer markets may argue against this but.......really what are we doing?

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  • P.S. can anyone divulge what alternative options "national negotiations" are producing

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  • Please may I correct a misrepresentation in this article. There was no mention in the debate of the pilot LES optional alternative to QOF that is being considered in Somerset, and , indeed, the Somerset LMC representatives voted in favour of the motion because the scheme under consideration in our county does not impose requirements that " go beyond" what has been nationally agreed. Harry Yoxall Somerset LMC Secretary

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  • I entirely agree with 2.22

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  • FULLY AGREE WITH 2.22 AND 3.39-a complete waste of money-why should the GPs be paid to keep a register -its the first step-there is no reinvestment from this money back into service development -its just making a few so called entrepreneurs fat cats-yes abolish it

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  • 'LMCs vote against abolition of QOF"
    Why did nobody ask me?

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  • Roger Boyle-is your LMC listening to you?
    Are you talking to them?

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  • to ask for extra payment for doing what should be done anyway is a total abuse .......put up info on web sites about what payments are being made in our laughably called open and transparent nhs

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