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NHS England ‘investigating QOF payment problems’

NHS bosses have been forced to step in to sort out problems with QOF data extraction that have left many GP practices across England facing a severe shortfall on their expected payments.

Pulse reported last week that NHS Digital was in the process of writing to practices with corrected payment figures, after running into problems with the CQRS extraction process because of a computer ‘glitch’.

Some practices in the North-West had found they were missing thousands of pounds because of the problem. 

However, it has now emerged that NHS England and NHS Digital are still trying to sort out the problem – relating to discrepancies with prevalence calculations – with NHS Digital.

A spokesperson for NHS England told Pulse that it was ‘in the process of alerting GP practices to the issue and once it has been fully investigated and resolved, there will be further communication with practices’.

The spokesperson said: ’NHS England and NHS Digital are aware of issues which could potentially affect the QOF achievement calculations for some practices. 

’We are working as a matter of priority to resolve this as soon as possible and apologise for any inconvenience caused. NHS England is working to ensure all practices receive their interim aspiration payments on time.’

Medical accountants said it showed the GP payment system was ‘letting practices down’.

Andrew Pow, executive board member of the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants (AISMA), said: ‘This is yet further evidence of increasing problems in the GP payment system which is letting practices down across the country.’

AISMA said practices should compare their QOF data with last year’s figures to anticipate whether they will be affected by the problems.

While NHS England has assured practices that they will all receive aspiration payments on time, it is advising practices and local commissioners to temporarily stop any QOF approval processes.