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QOF responses tumble

The review of the quality and outcomes framework has received more than two thirds fewer submissions from organisations and individuals suggesting changes to it than when it was last reviewed in 2005.

Just 153 submissions on current or future indicators have been received by the QOF review panel compared with more than 530 last time around.

However, Professor Helen Lester, a GP and professor of Primary Care at the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre, who is leading the panel, said that although the number of submissions received had dropped, those that had come in were of much higher quality.

‘We spent a lot of time this year, which we did not have in 2005, producing information for patients and patient groups that explained what the quality and outcome framework was for and what the submission process was about,' she said.

‘I think that is why virtually all the submissions we got were relevant and were very thoughtful and very detailed submissions.'

GPC chair, Dr Laurence Buckman, said the number of submissions had dropped because ‘people were more sensible about putting them in and about making sure what they sent in was not just a personal view but also carried some weight'.

Although the review team is keeping the topics covered under wraps, Professor Lester said they touched on existing clinical domains as well as new areas.

‘There were some national societies who quite understandably resubmitted their ideas and simply updated the evidence base,' she said. ‘And there were completely new societies, new patient groups and teams who presented very detailed submissions. There was a submission from a learning disability team with some fantastic ideas.'

National societies were responsible for 27%, 25% came from patient groups, 13% from pharmaceutical companies, 15% from individuals and 10% of submissions came from primary care organisations.

The panel expects to report back to NHS Employers and the GPC in the first week of October.

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