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GPs miss deadline for QOF productivity indicators

Exclusive GPs are being denied the data they need to devise pathways for the new QOF quality and productivity indicators, and in some areas practices have been unable to sign off prescribing plans by the 30 September deadline.

LMC leaders have lodged a complaint with NHS Buckinghamshire after practices said they had not been given sufficient data to devise pathways to reduce outpatient referrals and emergency admissions, and PCT managers overruled a plan to redesign a COPD pathway.

Dr Gill Beck, a GPC member and a GP in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, said:

'Practices are meant to develop their own proposals, but we couldn¹t because we were not provided with any data to help us understand which areas to target.'

'The data collection you need ­ which should identify the patients going to hospital a lot in emergencies and so on ­ has not been provided, which contravenes national guidelines.' Minutes from Buckinghamshire LMC added that some practices that had developed pathways had seen them 'rejected by PCT staff making QOF decisions'.

A spokesperson for NHS Buckinghamshire denied that practices' plans to redesign COPD pathways had been overruled, and said: 'The PCT is confident that it is delivering the QOF in line with national guidance.' The row came as it emerged some practices faced a frantic rush to make the 30 September deadline to agree three prescribing areas for improvement with their PCT for a separate QOF quality and productivity indicator, QP2.

In Sandwell, more than a dozen practices agreed plans for improvement only on the day of the deadline, while three were unable to do so. In Coventry and Gloucestershire, meanwhile, as of late last week 50 out of 141 practices were set to miss the deadline.