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GPC tells practices to 'consider value' of new QOF workload

The BMA has advised GPs to ‘consider the value of each QOF point’ before deciding to implement the extra work under the Government’s proposed contract deal for 2013/14.

In stark advice to practices, the union advised that practices ‘would do well to consider’ what each point is worth and ‘make their own decision’ on what is worthwhile in light of the workload that would be required to achieve it.

The advice raises the prospect that practices will decide that some new QOF work is not worth the effort, undermining previous high performance levels since the launch of the framework.

In a letter to practices sent out last night, the GPC outlined a list of ‘unworkable’ QOF indicators proposed by the Department of Health and first revealed by Pulse, including those that would add extra workload or rely on services that are not universally available or will lead to repetitive or inappropriate questioning.

It also raised concern over the retirement of some process indicators in the areas of blood pressure, epilepsy and hypertension which are clinically relevant, but will now need to be done without any resource.

The letter said: ‘The proposal to impose all clinical QOF recommendations, without reference to our negotiations, means that these important practical considerations are not likely to be taken on board, which will cause huge problems for both practices and patients. It also risks undermining the confidence the profession and patients have in QOF as a whole.

‘If these changes are made to QOF, practices would do well to consider the value of each QOF point (worth £133.76 in England in 2012-2013) and make their own decisions about whether it is worthwhile engaging in the associated work.’

‘The GPC will ensure the Government receives all of these concerns as part of our response to its consultation.’

Earlier this month, the DH launched a formal consultation with stakeholders finally outlining the full range of changes it wants to push through to the 2013/14 GP contract, including raising QOF thresholds for 20 indicators, introducing a raft of new indicators and altering the way the value of QOF points are calculated.

Readers' comments (8)

  • Why do WE all have to reinvent the wheel ?

    Why don't the BMA have a task force that works out what each new QOF area is likely to cost compared to the income it will generate. We can then decide what we will not do from a position of strength.

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  • The HYP004 and 005 indicators are are huge amount of work for only 3 points each. Thats two I wont be doing.

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  • Shame they haven't been doing it all along!
    I'm fairly sure the last handful of points practices have strived to achieve have never been cost effective. The other problem is of course that despite QoF being "voluntary" practice with "low" points were somehow considered poorly performing

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  • Why on earth are we agreeing to more work in the first place?

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  • So, our glorious negotiators at the end of the day can only advise you to decide how much more of a wage cut you'd like to stomach. Fantastic Laurence, well done. And when the CCG's start using your QOF points as a surrogate performance tool..... The omly reason all this crap is heading ourr way is because the GPC allowed the Govt to move most of the Mgt points into the CQC arena, where we are now actually paying for the privilege of doing it, and can be shut down if we don't...the whole thing is a total bloody shambles, and just because the CQC is 'statutory' doesn't mean they could do much if every single practice in the country told them where to shove it.....and I assume that when the Govt 'asks' us to work Saturdays and Sundays, for no extra monay or funds to pay our staff, they'll put up an equally robust fight.

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  • CCG must receive at least 30% of what they save from rationing their referral and prescribing, so that they are able to raise standards of their infrastructure, equipment and employ more staff.
    Why BMA does not take up such issues with DOH?

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  • Amendment in comments mentioned above:
    CCG must return back to GPs at least 30% of what they save from rationing their referral and prescribing, so that they are able to raise standards of their infrastructure, equipment and employ more staff.
    Why BMA does not take up such issues with DOH?

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  • as a response to anonymous entry at 10:27pm
    i agree, there was a reason why fund-holding took off. Our practice is very good in most respect and we end up paying for the over spent practices, or local hospitals. what is in it for our local patients, what is the drive for GP practices? The quality payments are pittens compared to what some practices make from prescribing etc.

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