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QOF review set to limit submissions

GPs and other interested parties could be excluded from providing evidence to the next review of the quality framework under a shake-up designed to limit the number of submissions.

A briefing produced by NHS Employers warned the last QOF review process 'unfairly raised expectations' and said an alternative method for collecting evidence may be more effective.

Dr Adrian Jacobs, co-chair of NHS Employers' QOF negotiations sub-group, said it would be looking at 'identifying priorities' set by the Department of Health, public health needs and patient groups.

He added that the last call for evidence had raised expectations from relatively small patient groups that couldn't possibly be met.

Dr Laurence Buckman, GPC deputy chair, said in last year's QOF review 'every human was told they could submit something and experts drowned in 500 helpful submissions'.

He said they needed to look more carefully at the most 'cost-effective use of expert time'.

But GPs warned that the QOF review panel risked 'throwing the baby out with the bath-

water' in the bid to restrict the number of submissions.

Dr David Haslam, clinical director of the National Obesity Forum and a GP in Hertfordshire, said: 'Small groups do have important evidence to present. Volume of evidence is no reason to limit the amount you accept. It is quite worrying.'

Dr Terry McCormack, chair of the Primary Care Cardiovascular Society, said: 'People have to be able to influence the QOF and put evidence forward. GPs must have an avenue to make their opinion known. That's absolutely vital ­ the most important opinion comes from the people actually doing the work.'

NHS Employers is currently appointing a new expert panel to oversee the process.

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