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NICE recommends 14 QOF indicators are retired

NICE has recommended a raft of indicators should be retired from the QOF, including prescribing beta-blockers in heart failure, checks in diabetes and case finding for depression in patients with cardiovascular disease.

The institute has also recommended that process measures, such as measuring blood pressure in patients with chronic kidney disease and eGFR and neuropathy testing in patients with diabetes should also be considered for retirement.

The final decision on the retirement of the indicators will be taken during contract negotiations between the GPC and NHS Employers later this year.

NICE has also released the final menu of 16 indicators they have put forward for the 2013/14 QOF, including biopsychosocial checks in depression and checking for erectile dysfunction in patients with diabetes.

The new indicators also include a raft of checks in rheumatoid arthritis patients and offering to refer patients diagnosed with heart failure to an exercise-based rehabilitation programme.

NICE also proposed that the existing indicator DM13, which asks GPs to test for microalbuminuria, should allow exception reporting for proteinuria, should be revised to include an albumin:creatinine ratio test to bring it up to date with current NICE guidelines.

Dr Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director of health and social care at NICE, said: ‘These indicators are based on the best evidence and have been subject to wide consultation with professional groups, patients and community and voluntary organisations, as well as being tested across general practice to make sure they work.'

The indicators will be put before NHS Employers and the GPC to be negotiated into the 2013/14 QOF, with the final indicators to be published by NHS Employers this winter.


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