GPs would support the QOF including more indicators for children, but are concerned that they could be judged on outcomes that are beyond their control, a study has found.
Researchers interviewing GPs in the Thames Valley found the majority supported the idea of bringing in quality markers for children in primary care as they were seen as setting ‘standards’ and ‘benchmarks’ to ‘systematically document the state of health of the child’.
Only 3% of the markers in the current QOF relate to children and young people.
In the study published in BMC Family Practice, the 20 GPs suggested audits, clinical templates, questionnaires, ED visits and antibiotic prescription rates could be used to measure quality.
Most of the GPs interviewed preferred quality indicators that related to outcomes rather than processes and structures.
But many raised concerns that they had a lack of control over outcomes, for example with childhood mortality.
‘There was support amongst the GPs interviewed for the development of quality markers for the care of children in UK general practice,’ the authors concluded.
‘However, they flagged up a number of challenges which need to be addressed if standards are to be developed that are measurable, targeted and within the direct control of primary care.