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CCG topping up practices’ QOF payments to reduce avoidable hospitalisation

Exclusive GP practice members of one CCG are having their QOF payments topped up as part of the CCG’s plans to co-commission primary care, Pulse can reveal.

NHS Stockport CCG leaders said they want to continue with QOF, despite being given the green light to replace it by NHS England, but they said they would provide additional funding to improve preventative care.

This is the latest CCG to announce extra funding for general practice as part of co-commissioning, although most have said they will do this through reducing QOF work.

The CCG, which took on joint commissioning duties from April, said its GP development scheme was launched in November allowing each practice to come up with their own ‘individualised’ plans for improvement focused on preventative and extended hours care.

The improvement plans had been worked out together with patient participation groups, the CCG said.

A spokesperson said: ‘Instead of an alternative to QOF, we have supported our practices with funding additional to QOF, through a GP development scheme launched in November 2014, which involves each practice developing an individualised improvement plan together with their patient participation group, to improve preventative, proactive, urgent and extended hours care.

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‘We hope this funding will also allow practices to focus on initiatives to reduce avoidable hospitalisation and improve prescribing efficiency.’

The news comes after GPs in Somerset started working to alternative QOF schemes already last year, and as NHS Aylesbury Vale CCG has said it will begin doing so during 2015/16.

GP leaders taking part in the Somerset pilot reported last month that it had been ‘a success’ and more CCGs are plotting similar plans.

Elsewhere, NHS Greater Preston CCG and NHS Chorley and South Ribble CCG are working on a replacement for the QOF which will see it being localised to a greater extent than ever, with separate indicators based on practices’ locations.