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Delay QOF threshold hike, says Family Doctor Association

The Government should delay the planned rise in the upper thresholds of QOF indicators for a year, says the Family Doctor Association in its official response to the consultation on the GP contract for 2013/14.

Their consultation response says the the proposed GP contract imposition in England will erode holistic patient care and demoralise GPs.

It also criticises the proposed new DESs and said they need to be ‘revised to provide for better health care based on evidence and service availability rather than political whim’.

The call from the FDA for a delay in the QOF changes echoes calls from BMA last week for the Government to delay key parts of the contract deal.

The FDA said: ‘While the Family Doctor Association is entirely signed up to continuous improvement in patient care, the raising of thresholds for achievement has to be phased in at a pace which can be assimilated into everyday clinical care, for fear of falling foul of the workload issues which have been highlighted earlier in this response.

‘We therefore propose that instead of phasing this change in from April 2013 over two years that the change should be deferred until April 2014 to allow for the immense changes in the general practice and primary care environment over the next 12 months.  

‘This will allow CCGs to bed in and start to make a real change to patient care and patient services.’

The FDA has also demanded that the principle of the 2004 GP contract of ‘no new work without new resources’ is upheld, that locum GPs are protected from the unintended consequences of changes to their superannuation payments and that GPs are protected from ‘yet another annual pay cut’.

FDA chair Dr Peter Swinyard said: ‘The pips are squeaking in general practice and there is no room left for adding yet more work without adequate resources.’