This site is intended for health professionals only

QOF depression indicators to be reviewed

By Nigel Praities

NICE QOF advisers have decided to review all the indicators in QOF for depression after concerns raised by GPs about their benefit for patients.

The decision to order an independent review of the three indicators, which incentivise practices to case-find and monitor depression, was taken at a meeting of the QOF Indicator Advisory Panel in Manchester on Thursday.

Dr Colin Hunter, the chair of the panel, revealed there had been numerous complaints from GPs about the evidence base and the utility of the DEP2 and DEP3 indicators for assessing the severity of depression after diagnosis and five to 12 weeks later.

Dr Hunter said: ‘We can no longer ignore the volume of communication around these indicators we have had. The feedback we have had is that they are a complete pain in the neck and are not very helpful.'

Figures from the NHS Information Centre show GP performance on these two indicators was 92.1% for DEP2, but only 64.4% for DEP3 for 2009/10.

The committee also decided to include the DEP1 indicator in the review, in order to assess whether the indicator, which incentivises practices to case-find depression in patients with diabetes or heart disease, should be widened to include other chronic diseases.

The review will be reported back at the next committee meeting in June.


Dr Colin Hunter: Indicators felt by GPs to be 'a complete pain in the neck' Dr Colin Hunter: Indicators felt by GPs to be 'a complete pain in the neck'.


Attend Pulse's Mental Health Forum 2012