By Alisdair Stirling
The new Government is set to keep QOF but will overhaul it. Conservative thinking is that the system works well in terms of quality of care and will want to use it to make further improvements. But opinion is divided over what the reforms will involve.
Dr Jonathan Steel, a GP in Urey, Gloucestershire, and member of the Tories' health policy advisory committee, said current thinking was that QOF should form a smaller proportion of overall GP income with other, more localised financial incentive schemes filling the gap.
Dr Paul Charlson, chair of the Conservative medical Society and another member of the Conservative´s health policy advisory committee agreed: ‘There are going to be far fewer QOF-able things. The how and the what is still up in the air but my feeling is that the system will be scaled down.'
But Dr Michael Dixon, chair of the NHS Alliance, said GPs were likely to find themselves doing more for the same money: ‘The QOF will remain but they will ratchet up the amount we do for the same pay. It will change, thresholds will go up but its been a big success and they won´t want to abandon it.'
Dr Dixon said areas such as rheumatology could be brought into the QOF and that the patient experience elements might be revised.QOF targets set to be 'ratcheted up'