A consultation on the future of QOF and incentives in general practice is expected to be launched over the next four weeks.
In an exclusive interview with Pulse earlier this year, national director of primary and community care services Dr Amanda Doyle confirmed that NHS England had committed to a public consultation on the future of QOF and incentives in general practice.
She said this would ‘inform our long-term approach’, with an opportunity for long-term reform of the GP contract for 2025/26.
Speaking at the Best Practice conference in Birmingham last week, Dr Doyle said the consultation would begin shortly, and Pulse understands it is expected to launch over the next four weeks.
Earlier this year, NHS England announced that the current QOF system would be reviewed during 2023/24 so it becomes more ‘streamlined and focused’, with an overhauled model being launched the following year.
In June, primary care minister Neil O’Brien said the profession and representative patient groups would be consulted on QOF and its future form this summer, but this was never launched over the summer.
The 2023/24 QOF activity has been ‘streamlined’ too under the changes to the GP contract, with the number of indicators in QOF also cut by a quarter, from 74 to 55.
GP negotiators have said they will demand QOF, IIF and PCN DES monies are all moved into one simplified core general practice funding stream in new contract discussions.
There have been radical suggestions from both sides of the negotiations, including moving to payment by activity, scrapping QOF and introducing contractual workload limits – but Dr Doyle suggested that the next contract was going to be a one-year deal.
Earlier this week, the NHS Confederation set out a number of recommendations for reforming QOF, including streamlining the framework with IIF and including incentives for group consultations for long-term conditions.
It recommended consolidating the quality improvement (QI) elements of QOF and create a quality-improvement incentive within the PCN DES focused on continuity of care, as this approach should encourage PCNs to work collaboratively to improve continuity of care across their practices.