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Independents' Day

Third of GPs would support completely scrapping the QOF

Exclusive More than a third of GPs would support scrapping the QOF in its entirety, with some admitting they have already stopped chasing targets that are too much work from April.

Almost a fifth of GPs say that they have stopped doing QOF work that they used to do from April, after a massive hike in workload under the framework.

The Pulse survey of more than 800 GPs also reveals that the recently introduced depression and exercise indicators were the most unpopular indicators among the profession.

The findings come as GPC and NHS England move towards a negotiated deal that is expected to deliver health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s promise of a ‘dramatic simplification’ in targets exchanged for the introduction of ‘named clinician’ responsibility for GPs.

The survey of more than 800 GPs shows that although almost half of respondents - 47% - do not want to see the QOF go, a sizeable minority - 37% - were in favour of getting rid of it entirely.

Nearly a third of GPs said that they would like moves to rationalise the QOF to focus on the depression indicators - particularly biopsychosocial checks - while a further 20% said indicators incentivising the use of the GPPAQ questionnaire in hypertensive patients should go.

Smaller numbers of GPs also called for dementia, rheumatoid arthritis and the erectile dysfunction in diabetes indicators to be removed.

The results echo the findings of a NICE review into the areas of the QOF that could be pruned back, and a recent LMC survey.

Some 16% of GPs who responded to the question said they had already stopped doing parts of the QOF since new measures were imposed on GPs in April.

Nearly a quarter - a total of 22% - said they had stopped doing things that ‘did not pay enough’ or were ‘too much work’. One in 12 GPs - 8% said they had stopped trying to achieve depression screening targets and a further 8% said they had already stopped doing the GPPAQ. One GP said they had stopped doing QOF work altogether.

Comments from GPs included: ‘The QOF has become far too politically driven, lacks professional credibility and interferes with  consultations’ and ‘I only want things removed if our pay will increase. No removal with reduction in remuneration. Simplify all clinical areas’.

Readers' comments (9)

  • What proportion of GPs would support completely scrapping the government and the damage they are doing to Primary Care?

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  • The voices of sanity!

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  • can we have a survey of GPs to see how many want to leave ?

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  • yes a survey of Gps to go the way dentists have please

    Should a similar Monitor/Chief Inspector of Govermnent ministers be set up and if shown to be (heaven forbid) "failing" they should be stripped of job staright away not allowed to wait until next election in their seat still getting paid and have a fitness to practice proceeding brought. If found guilty liscence to appear later on boards of large multinationals for large salaries should be revoked

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  • Just a third?I thought it would have been more than that.

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  • But I love asking if someone can't get it up when they come along for their blood pressure pills.

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  • Vinci Ho

    One thing to bear in mind:
    Under which government was QOF created?
    Which government is in charge right now ?
    Agent Hunt is willing to 'simplify' QOF. Why? Because this is the 'evil' of Labour and he would love to take credit for his party to wipe QOF off. Then the question is ' do you really think he will let GP get away from ''targets''??'
    Yes. Scrap PCTs , 2004 GP contract , then NHS direct and soon walk in centre........right or wrong, it is all politics .........

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  • That third of GP's seriously need to consider the wider implications of what they are condoning....... it does not take a genious to figure out what will happen to that QOF funding once it is gone.

    jump....yes how high Sir.....

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  • Everyone can see the writing on the wall regarding QOF. QOF has been a good thing for patients overall, but the interference from the Coalition and the stretching of targets too thinly will be its undoing. The Politics of not invented here has come to play.

    GP pay is getting reduced and destabilised, ready for big business to take over and do it for twice the price, compared to before. Look at Co-Ops for OOHs services, these ran successfully with GPs in control, but Government wanted Big Business involved and now we have a OOH service that costs £millions more than in the past. This is what happens when you undervalue the GP model.

    Older GPs are taking Early Retirement and our younger GPs are leaving Blighty for pastures greener, with the others thinking of other career paths. This will all make the need for another 2004 Contract-like boost in GP pay necessary to get doctors to consider being a GP again.

    "stupid is as stupid does" and Mr Hunt et. al. don't understand the damage the country will have to pay for all the chaotic levels of change.

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