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Government publishes plans for national outcome targets for GPs

By Gareth Iacobucci

The Government has unveiled plans for a series of national outcome goals to help judge GPs' performance as part of its radical plans to revamp the NHS.

A new consultation, Transparency in Outcomes - a framework for the NHS, launched today, is the first in a series of consultations due to be published in the wake of last week's White Paper, seeking the views of clinicians and patients on the far-reaching proposals.

The new national framework will hold the new NHS Commissioning Board to account for a raft of new targets, including cutting mortality amenable to healthcare and premature deaths from heart and lung disease, with the commissioning board in turn closely scrutinising the outcomes delivered by GP consortia.

The board will 'determine how best to deliver improvements against the selected outcomes by working with GP consortia and making best use of the various tools and levers it will have at its disposal,' the document says.

NICE will also use the NHS Outcomes Framework to produce a raft of Quality Standards 'to inform the commissioning process'.

The suggested indicators in the document cover areas such as emergency hospital admissions, patient experience and premature mortality and use data from QOF and the Hospital Episoide Statistics.

Some of the suggested indicators are below:

- Premature mortality from ischaemic heart disease

- Emergency hospital admissions for children with lower respiratory tract infections

- Proportion of patients recovering to their previous level of mobility after a fragility fracture

- Health status six months after stroke

- Mortality from suicide and injury of undetermined intent

- Diabetes acute complication rate

Health secretary Andrew Lansley said: ‘Instead of politically motivated targets which lack clinical evidence, we will measure the outcomes that are most important to patients and that are relevant to healthcare professionals. These will be backed up by authoritative, evidence-based quality standards that will ensure everyone understands how those outcomes can be achieved.'

‘I want to hear the views of healthcare professionals, patients, carers and the public on how the new system should work, and what we should measure to ensure the NHS is focussed on what is important to patients and what improves their overall experience of NHS care.'

Your questions on the White Paper

Got a question about the health White Paper or GPs' new commissioning role?

Primary care tsar Dr David Colin-Thome has agreed to directly answer your questions and queries exclusively for Pulse. Let us know what you want to ask at and we'll put your questions to him later this week.

Government publishes plans for national outcome targets for GPs Transparency in outcomes - a framework for the NHS Read the full document

Click here to read the full document.

Questions on the White Paper? Click here to put them to the primary care tsar. Your questions on the White Paper