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Practices’ income cut by thousands as NHS England devalues QOF

Exclusive: NHS England has confirmed to Pulse that the value of a QOF point will not be increased this year, meaning all practices in England will lose thousands of pounds for the work they are currently undertaking.

Pulse warned last week that NHS England had refused to confirm they would upgrade the value of a QOF point in line with increases to the average practice list size, meaning £2,000 will be wiped off the value of QOF for an average practice even if they maintain levels of performance.

The GPC said last week that it was pushing NHS England to agree to raise the value, as QOF experts claimed it would wipe out the gains from the 0.28% uplift to the global sum, and to some practices it could pose a bigger problem than the MPIG withdrawal.

However, an NHS England spokesperson today told Pulse: ‘As part of the consultation on the 2013/14 GMS contract changes, the Department of Health set out its proposal to increase the Contractor Population Index (CPI) on an annual basis. The Department indicated that, for future years, it would be for the negotiating parties to discuss whether the price per point in the Quality and Outcomes Framework should be adjusted to reflect any change in CPI.

‘The GPC raised this issue during the negotiations for the 2014/15 contract. However, the negotiating parties agreed that they would consider the issue further with a view to addressing it in future years. As a consequence, this issue did not feature in the final negotiated agreement with the GPC.’

Asked to clarify whether that meant that NHS England would definitely not be addressing the issue for 2014/15, the spokesperson confirmed: ‘Yes – it’s final.’

GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘We now need to find a way of reconciling the loss for the profession and also find a way to ensure that this is not a recurring issue every year.’