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QOF has reduced health inequalities says Lancet study

The Quality and Outcomes Framework has reduced health inequalities and improved care in deprived areas, according to a study published in The Lancet.

In the three years after the introduction of the QOF, the gap in median QOF achievement between the least and the most deprived areas in England narrowed from 4% to 0.8%.

Median achievement in the most deprived quintile of English practices rose by 7.6% between 2004 and 2006, a larger increase than the 4.4% median increase in achievement seen in the least deprived quintile.

Dr Tim Doran, a research fellow at the NPCRDC, said: ‘Our study has shown that variation in the quality of care related to deprivation was reduced during the first 3 years of the financial incentive scheme. This study provides evidence of changes in health-care inequalities in England during this period of activity.'

QOF

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