Four new indicators covering vaccinations and immunisations will be added to QOF for 2021/22, the BMA has announced.
Two new serious mental health indicators and a new indicator on cancer will also be introduced.
The BMA today unveiled details of this year’s updates to the GP contract, which it said includes ‘minimal changes’ to provide practices with ‘support and stability’ through the Covid pandemic.
It said QOF will be based on the indicator set from 2020/21, with ‘limited’ changes made as previously agreed or to ‘account for the impact of the pandemic’.
Four indicators have been agreed with NHS England to comprise the new vaccinations and immunisations domain, transferring ‘almost £60m’ from the Childhood Immunisations DES to QOF, the BMA said.
These include a new ‘vaccination and immunisation domain’ focusing on childhood immunisations and shingles vaccinations for elderly.
The changes will increase the total value of QOF but will not ‘generate new workload’, it added.
Further QOF funding will also back physical health checks for patients with serious mental illness, with £24m transferred from mental health funding and two new indicators from April, the BMA said.
A new cancer indicator will be introduced alongside revised wording for another, it added.
Meanwhile, no new Quality Improvement modules will be introduced in 2021/22 as the pandemic has ‘required a rethink to the timetable’, the BMA said.
However, modules on Learning Disabilities and Supporting Early Cancer Diagnosis – which are currently income protected – are ‘too important not to be completed in full’, it added.
It said: ‘They will be repeated for 2021/22 in their original format, with some slight modifications to account for the impact of the pandemic upon care.’
Remote QOF reviews will continue to be ‘acceptable’ when ‘clinically necessary’, the BMA said.
However, the BMA said a decision is ‘yet to be made’ on which parts of QOF will be implemented from April and will depend on the ‘pandemic situation at the time’.
Last year, it was announced that vaccinations and immunisations would become an essential contractual service, with a new QOF domain introduced and the Childhood Immunisation DES replaced with item of service payments.
Meanwhile, the BMA this week said it ‘cannot support’ QOF incentives for GPs to refer all obese patients but the contract negotiations include a commitment to discuss an obesity enhanced service.