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QOF income protection will stop from April, says BMA


Scotland funding


QOF payments will not be protected beyond the end of March, the BMA has confirmed.

However, funding protection could be reinstated later in the year if there is a ‘spike’ in Covid cases in the autumn or winter, BMA GP Committee chair for England Dr Richard Vautrey said.

QOF income is currently protected while practices tackle the Covid pandemic, except for targets around flu and cervical smear tests.

In January, the BMA said a decision was ‘yet to be made’ on which parts of the QOF would be implemented from April and would depend on the ‘pandemic situation at the time’.

But now, Dr Vautrey has confirmed that QOF income protection will end on 31 March and that the BMA will have ‘a discussion’ with NHS England about reinstating the measures later in the year if the pandemic escalates.

Speaking at a BMA GP contract webinar for GPs today, he said: ‘From April, QOF won’t be income protected. 

‘So from then, it will continue as it would normally have done for the rest of the year, bearing in mind that the Quality Improvement indicators have been carried forward to the following year so some work will have already been done relating to those indicators.’

When asked what would happen to QOF if practices are still delivering Covid vaccinations after April, he added that the BMA needs ‘to be watching the outcome of the pandemic [but] no one really knows what’s going to happen as the year goes on’. 

He said: ‘We may find ourselves in a similar situation that we found ourselves in last year where when we reach the autumn or the winter and if we were to unfortunately see a further spike in activity related to Covid infections or we needed to be engaged in other activities, then we would have the same discussion that we had with NHS England last year around income protection. 

‘But from April onwards, it’s QOF as it would normally be.’

It comes as the Government has revealed it is planning for a Covid revaccination campaign, which is ‘likely to run later this year in autumn or winter’.

But when this year’s update to the GP contract was announced in January, GP leaders warned that it would be ‘impossible’ for practices to deliver both the vaccination programme and QOF.

The new QOF framework for 2020/21, published in September, outlined that almost half of points would be restored for 2020/21 while 55% would continue to be protected.


READERS' COMMENTS [14]

Roger Boyle 25 February, 2021 4:55 pm

Deplorable decision

Clare Dyer 25 February, 2021 5:08 pm

how about simplifying it considerably and just pay us properly for the work we do

Cameron Wilson 25 February, 2021 5:40 pm

Sooner we all go private the better! Can’t be bothered with all this garbage!

Just My Opinion 25 February, 2021 8:02 pm

Even if it was protected can’t trust them not to change their minds halfway through the year like last time. Fool me once… etc etc

Mike Pearce 25 February, 2021 8:39 pm

Time to hand back the ES then isn’t it?

Douglas Callow 25 February, 2021 8:47 pm

FFS Seriously?

Not on your nelly 25 February, 2021 9:03 pm

I agree with Mike, looks like we’ll be pulling out of the ES come April!

Marie Williams 25 February, 2021 9:55 pm

So we aren’t open fully for pandemic reasons, have to continue to remotely assess the need for appointments. How can we hope to do routine QOF and social distance in the practice. There’s no consistency in the arrival of the vaccine and several million patients to vaccinate. Thanks BMA your negotiating skills are legendary did you even point any of this out? Your OBEs are in the post.

Vinci Ho 25 February, 2021 10:18 pm

Should I be surprised? No .
75% of the COVID vaccinations were delivered in GP designated sites , if I am correct . Despite knowing damed right that we were exploited and used by the government/NHS England to salvage their completely destroyed reputation in how they dealt with the pandemic last year . The PM and his party are now on new heights after claiming triumph in delivering the promise of reaching 15 million people vaccinated in the first phase of the programme. The most vulnerable ones are protected . The German tabloid headline was envious of the British etc .
I have never trusted this bunch of politicians and technocrats but only acted out of the code and moral compass I believe in . Call me stupid .
But quintessentially, the government would abandon the soldiers in frontline who were well used helping it to achieve the political objectives. For that , I am well aware of history repeating itself again and again ……..

Vinci Ho 25 February, 2021 10:35 pm

Once the cunning hare was captured and killed , the hunting hound will be boiled and cooked. (狡兔死,走狗烹)
After all the flying birds were shot , the fine bow used would be hidden away . (飛鳥盡,良弓藏

Decorum Est 26 February, 2021 12:17 am

Still waiting for GPs in UK to say ‘this is the price for this and this is the price for that, etc’ – like normal commercial transactions ((it doesn’t matter who’s going to pay (in short term)). But it’s not going to happen with our current fluffy intellectual generals and their dry powder!

Turn out The lights 26 February, 2021 7:15 am

Usual BMA rubbish why do they get any subscriptions bowing to their political masters like serfs.Call them selves a union pathetic.

Imran Hussain 26 February, 2021 10:55 am

This is precisely why I ended my subscription with the BMA.

Richard Greenway 3 March, 2021 5:03 pm

Not good. According to my maths, we have been vaccinating flat out for 3 months , and we have done around 1/2 of the population once. So we’ve still got 76% of the work to do.
GPs have again put risk in setting up their centres -spent money on premises, employed staff on contracts with their names on. 3 months in we still haven’t been reimbursed these setup expenses. Expecting us to deliver 100% QOF (or lose the money- causing redundancies, further loss of GP workforce) is unrealistic.