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Fifth of GPs miss QOF productivity deadline

Exclusive: GPs continue to struggle with the new quality and productivity QOF indicators for reducing A&E attendances, with a quarter missing the deadline for a crucial report last month.

Some 74% of practices of the 24 PCTs surveyed by Pulse submitted results for QP indicator 13 by the deadline of the 30 September.

QP13 asks practices to hold an external peer review to assess A&E attendance data and agree an improvement plan to be sent to their primary care organisation.

But 22% of practices required an extension and 4% did not submit results or missed the deadline and are pending a review from their PCT as to whether they will gain the points.

The indicators – that the Department of Health said this week it wants to continue for another year – have proved problematic for practices.

Last month, Pulse revealed 29% of 2,331 practices failed to meet the 31 July deadline to produce their QP12 report, with the majority granted an extension by managers.

Dr Beth McCarron-Nash,, a GPC member and former negotiator, said: ‘We have heard reports from LMCs who have had varying feedback on the success of QP indicators.

‘In some areas they have worked well, in other areas there are varying reasons why GPs have struggled.

‘With regards to QP13, in some areas the data was not accurate. A lot of doctors stated that its beyond their control.

‘The most likely reason for patients to attend A&E is proximity to A&E, and cultural reasons, which GPs can’t influence.’

NHS Employers have launched a survey to assess the performance of previous quality and productivity QOF indicators, with the results forming part of this year’s discussions on the future of the indicators.

The survey asks PCTs for their opinion on the success of last year’s 11 indicators which were introduced with the aim of improve prescribing, outpatient referrals and emergency admissions.

Pulse also revealed in August that just 72% of practices achieved maximum points against one of the prescribing indicators from last year.

A spokesperson for NHS Employers said: ‘We have recently undertaken a very small scale survey of PCTs to ascertain their opinion on the operation of the Q&P indicators.’