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NHS England ‘apologises’ for telling practices to continue work on retired QOF indicators

Exclusive GPs will not have to do work linked to retired QOF indicators after NHS England apologised for errors in a note sent to practices by local area teams, the GPC has said.

The GPC has said that it has received an apology from NHS England for the note, which was published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) and distributed by area teams, telling GPs they had to agree to data relating to 24 retired indicators being extracted by 23 January to prove that they ‘continue to provide the services linked to these indicators’.

The HSCIS has now republished the information to instead say practices will ‘continue to undertake the work and code activity related to retired indicators as clinically appropriate’.

The GPC had been particularly concerned about the wording of the document in light of its recent disagreement with the CQC over its ‘intelligent monitoring’ risk rating of GP practices based on QOF achievement and parts of the Patient Survey.

It said it will be writing to the CQC to ‘seek assurance’ that no data logged against retired indicators will be used in any future quality monitoring of practices.

In a new note to GPs, the GPC said: ‘We have received an apology from NHS England for the error which resulted in the HSCIC statement that “it is a requirement for general practices to ensure they continue to provide the services linked to these indicators”. ‘All parties have agreed that this is incorrect and not in accordance with the agreement negotiated between GPC and NHS Employers.’

It said that the information sent by HSCIC has been changed to: ‘Practices continue to undertake the work and code activity related to retired indicators as clinically appropriate. This data extraction will help inform commissioners and provide statistical information but is not intended for performance management purposes.’

The GPC’s note added: ‘The GPC is also writing to the CQC to alert it to this issue and to seek assurance that it will not use redundant QOF indicators to judge the performance of practices as the level of coding will now be so variable.’

The GPC negotiated wide-ranging changes to the QOF ahead of the 2014/15 contract, including the retirement of 24 indicators worth a total of 185 points from the clinical domain and 14 indicators worth 33 points from the public health domain. These will continue to be coded and extracted from practices on a voluntary basis.



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