The Department of Health has released a list of 20 QOF indicators it wants see the upper thresholds raised to reflect the performance of the top quarter of practices from April 2013.
The list of indicators it wants GPs to work harder for include those incentivising practices for keeping blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control in patients with coronary heart disease, flu vaccinations in patients with diabetes and post-stroke and providing smoking cessation advice.
The DH said that it wanted to begin with the 20 indicators that had the ‘best research evidence that they save lives’ in 2013/14, but from April 2014 all indicators would have their upper threshold increased in line with the highest quartile of performance.
It has also revealed that the lower threshold will also be fixed 40 percentage points below the upper threshold to ‘encourage continuous quality improvement’.
The move to increase the upper threshold in line with the performance of the upper 25% of practices has been criticised as risking patient care by the GPC.
But in a letter to the GPC setting out the changes published today, a DH official said that they did not think the change would incentivise the overtreatment of patients.
The letter says: ‘Practices will continue to be able to exception report patients under the existing criteria, including where the interventions are clinically inappropriate or for patients who exercise informed dissent.
‘We do not therefore believe there is any incentive to over-treat patients inappropriately as GPC have suggested.’