Must-read articles of the week:
- Working life: Heading up primary care at NHS England
- Dr Amir Hannan: ‘The care.data scheme goes to the very heart of the doctor-patient relationship’
- Finance Diary, February: The right time to review your pension arrangements
- GP leaders officially support Pulse’s campaign to save GP occupational health funding
- Dilemma: Suspicions a patient may be selling medicines on
The QOF, once the jewel in the crown of general practice, has taken a battering in recent months. First the GP contract deal slashed it at a stroke,by almost 40% in England. Then GPs in some parts of the country agreed deals to stop reporting the indicators due for the chop – or even design entirely new local incentives to start work on from April.
All of which makes a major study out in the BMJ today looking at the impact of removing QOF indicators particularly timely.
Researchers found that GP practice performance remains stable for QOF indicators even after they are removed from the framework . The GPC says the study proves trimming down the QOF will have no discernible impact on patient care; the concern, of course, is that GPs no longer being specifically paid to chase QOF targets will just keep doing the work anyway and that the study will be used to justify further tinkering with the framework that could have a drastic impact on practice workload. Let us know what you think here.
Dr Brian Balmer, chief executive of Essex LMCs, on the struggle to recruit GPs
Other stories we’ve been following this week include NHS England stepping in to help practices struggling to recruit GPs, RCGP Council members being banned from debating the college’s response to the MRCGP racism row and an official admission that the controversial care.data scheme could mean patients ‘lose trust in the confidential nature of the health service’.
The latest CPD modules on Pulse Learning tackle antibiotic use, chronic cough and returning to general practice , and don’t forget that if you attend Pulse Live in London i April you could earn up to 14 CPD hours – find out more and book your place here.
And finally, our Working Life section this week interviews Dr Mike Bewick, the former GP heading up primary care at NHS England. Find out how many hours a week he works, the highlight of his career so far – and whether he and his colleagues were in the office on Christmas Eve…