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Practices’ QOF achievement improves in 2014/15 after scale-back of indicators

Practices achieved nearly 95% of available QOF points last year, up by just over 2% compared with the previous year’s performance, official figures reveal.

The QOF report for 2014/15 shows that practices achieved an average of 529.6 points – 94.7% of the total of 559 available, compared with 92.4% out of a total of 900 points in 2013/14.

However, the data show overall achievement is still down on the average of 96.7% that was achieved in 2012/13, the year before the Government imposed a raft of new indicators that increased red tape and led to a dive in achievement the next year.

GPC negotiators subsequently agreed a radical scale-back in the number of QOF indicators for the following year’s contract in 2014-15 – cutting the size of the framework by 40%, with the funding redirected into the global sum.

The latest figures – released today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre – show the proportion of practices achieving maximum points also went up since the scale-back – from 162 in 2013/14 to 448 in 2014/15.

Dr Gavin Jamie, a GP in Swindon and QOF expert who runs the QOF Database website, said the report showed achievement had ‘in general gone up’ albeit ‘against a rather smaller QOF’ – and that ‘overall this is evidence that practices are continue to work effectively towards delivering the QOF targets’.

Dr Jamie noted that the increase in practices achieving blood pressure recordings – which rose from 88% to 98% – was likely due to the change in reporting timescale which was relaxed back from 9 to 12 months, which he said was ‘good to see’.

Dr Jamie also noted that a drop in the number of practices reporting QOF data – around 46 (0.84%) fewer than in 2013/14 – could be ‘due to mergers or closures’.