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NICE announces new QOF indicators

By Lilian Anekwe

GPs are set for new incentives to improve the management of patients with dementia, diabetes and schizophrenia after NICE announced a menu of new indicators and those they wish to retire next year.

The new indicators include incentives for giving newly-diagnosed patients with dementia a full health check and six new indicators in the management of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder and other psychoses.

They also include an indicator for prescribing in patients with a previous myocardial infarction and two new indicators on foot examination and diabetes related foot-care.

NICE announced that their independent QOF indicator advisory committee have recommended the indicators should be included in the menu of 2011/12 QOF indicators that will be negotiated on by the GPC and NHS Employers for next year.

The exact number of points, and the reward threshold, is still to be negotiated on, but it will offer points for ‘the percentage of patients with a new diagnosis of dementia from 1 April 2011 to have full blood count, calcium, glucose, renal and liver function, thyroid function tests, serum vitamin B12 and folate levels recorded 6 months before or after entering on to the register'.

As Pulse also revealed in June, new indicators will be piloted in structured education for diabetes, offering statins to patients with hypertension at high risk of cardiovascular disease and the secondary prevention of fragility fractures.

Several indicators have also been recommended for retirement, in coronary heart disease, diabetes, asthma, epilepsy and serious mental illness.

Dr Colin Hunter, QOF advisory committee chair and a GP in Aberdeen, said: ‘I'm confident these potential new indicators for 2011/12 QOF, together with our recommendations on which indicators which can be retired, will drive up quality of care across general practice.

‘NICE has a key role for QOF and our recommendations will help tackle health inequalities and, importantly, target resources where they are most needed.'

New proposed QOF indicators FULL LIST Full list of indicators

Click here to view the full list of proposed QOF indicators.

Dr Colin Hunter: Confident indicators will drive up quality