A consultation is to be launched imminently into the future of QOF, the primary care minister has said.
Responding to a written question from Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central, Chi Onwurah, Neil O’Brien said the profession and representative patient groups will be consulted on QOF and its future form this summer.
He said: ‘In response to feedback from practice teams, General Practice Committee England and the Health and Care Select Committee on the Future of Primary Care, the profession and representative patient groups will be consulted on the Quality and Outcomes Framework and its future form in summer 2023.’
Earlier this year, NHS England announced that the current QOF system would be reviewed during 2023/24 so it becomes more ‘streamlined and focused’, with an overhauled model being launched the following year.
The commissioner had also said that views from GPs, patients and ‘the broader system’ would be sought and taken into account ‘to determine the most appropriate form’ for QOF in 2024/25.
The 2023/24 QOF activity has been ‘streamlined’ too under the changes to the GP contract, with the number of indicators in QOF also cut by a quarter, from 74 to 55.
Meanwhile, GP negotiators will demand QOF, IIF and PCN DES monies are all moved into one simplified core general practice funding stream in new contract discussions.
‘Quality monitoring and regulation of contracting must be light touch with low levels of bureaucracy’, the GPC has said.
The 2024/25 contract negotiations will be the first since the end of the five-year deal.
GPC England urged doctors to join the BMA ahead of a potential ballot over industrial action if 2024/25 contract negotiations turn sour.
Northern Ireland’s Department of Health has suspended QOF for this year to reduce ‘administrative burden on practices’ following contract negotiations with the BMA.