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Dozen process measures axed as QOF shifts to outcomes

By Lilian Anekwe

The Government has begun to reshape the QOF to focus less on process measures and more on outcomes, by dumping huge swathes of process indicators from the new GP contract.

The details of the new QOF indicators, published by NHS Employers today following protracted negotiations with the GPC, show a dozen indicators, including those for measuring blood pressure, HbA1c or cholesterol in patients with coronary heart disease, diabetes and stroke have been ‘retired’.

Retired indicators are those that have been identified by NICE researchers as already part of standard GP practice and therefore no longer warrant further incentivisation.

New indicators have been included for the percentage of women aged under 55 who are taking antiepileptic drugs who have been given contraception advice, the percentage of patients with Down’s syndrome who have a record of blood TSH, and the percentage of patients with dementia who hare offered blood and organ function tests.

Explicit outcome measures have been included in the new quality and productivity domain, which rewards GPs for reducing referrals and avoiding hospital admissions by using new alternative care pathways.

Three depression indicators and one blood pressure indicator have had their points allocation reduced, while the upper thresholds have been raised by 1% in three indicators for coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Summary of 2011/12 QOF indicator changes, points and thresholds Full coverage of the contract deal

Contract headlines:

More work, no more pay: Government reveals GP contract deal

Extended hours funding cut by a third

QOF funding shifted to efficiency savings drive

£60m for Patient Participation DES to be launched next month

Northern Irish GPs left in limbo over contract deal

Buckman: GPC ‘pleased’ with Government concessions on GP contract deal

Analysis: New QOF points on admissions and prescribing are last throw of dice for UK-wide contract

Full coverage of the contract deal Money Dozen process measures axed as QOF shifts to outcomes