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GP practice QOF achievement rises

The number of GP practices achieving the maximum 1,000 QOF points has almost doubled in the past year, official figures show.

An NHS report says a ‘major factor’ in the rise appears to be high achievement within the organisation domain which saw 11 new indicators added in 2011/12.

In 2011/12, 2.4% of practices achieved the top target compared with 1.3% the year before, the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre said.

The average points total has also risen by more than two percentage points from 94.7% to 96.9%, the figures show.

There were 94.5 additional points with the organisation domain in 2011/12 – due to the introduction of the quality and productivity indicators - of which practices achieved an average of 89.4 points.

Exception reporting increased slightly by 0.2% to an average of 5.6% across all clinical domains. But the figures – which have been published directly alongside achievement for the first time – show that 95% of practices have an overall exception rate of under 10.1%.

The rising achievement comes as the Government seeks to radically increase the amount of new work included in QOF from 2013/14.

GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman said general practice should be very proud of the latest figures which show extremely high levels of achievement across the board, but warned standards could not rise exponentially.

‘GPs and their practices work extremely hard to deliver this kind of standard,’ he said.

‘So when the Government decides that standards should be higher, I would ask what exactly they are proposing to do to raise standards further, and I suspect I would not agree with their answer.’

The report shows the proportion of practices achieving under 90% of the possible QOF points dropped by 3.4 percentage points in 2011/12 to 6.3%.

Click here to read the full report

And the HSCIC report points out that within PCTs the range between high and low scoring practices has ‘decreased notably’ indicating that the lower achieving practices are narrowing the gap.

Within clinical points, practices increased the average tally slightly by 0.2% against a backdrop of 36 fewer points available for 2011/12.

Practices did better on atrial fibrillation, primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, depression, diabetes, heart failure and palliative care, the analysis shows.

With the exception of COPD, practices remained stable or did better on all disease areas with no changes to points.