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At the heart of general practice since 1960

QOF scores slump as patient survey results hit GP income

By Nigel Praities

GP performance under QOF has fallen as the results of the patient experience survey hit practice income, figures released by the NHS Information Centre revealed today.

Practices in England achieved an average of 954.2 points, 95.4% of the 1,000 points available.

It compares with an average achievement in 2007/08 of 96.8% of available points, the highest achievement since the QOF was introduced in 2004.

The report says the fall was attributable to a reduction in achievement in the patient experience domain, with the other three QOF domains not recording a reduction in average achievement.

GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman, issued a strongly worded defence of GPs in light of the figures, saying patients were still getting ‘extremely good care' despite the dip in performance.

‘The dip in the Patient Experience QOF scores is a direct result of changes to the funding of the Patient Experience Survey and not because quality in this area has dropped.

‘Practices got very similar, high patient satisfaction results to last year's Patient Experience Survey, yet this year they have lost points and resources.

‘It means that if patients look at their practice's QOF results they could end up with the impression that the quality of the practice, and patients' satisfaction with it, has declined, when this isn't likely to be the case,' he said.

England QOF score 2008-09
Ireland QOF score 2008-09
Scotland QOF score 2008-09
Wales QOF score 2008-09

Dr Laurence Buckman: lower scores due to funding changes not falling standards Dr Laurence Buckman: lower scores due to funding changes not falling standards GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman

The dip in the Patient Experience QOF scores is a direct result of changes to the funding of the Patient Experience Survey and not because quality in this area has dropped.

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