NHS England has said that it has ‘no plans’ to suspend QOF or income-protect it for GP practices this year.
Announcing the restart in February, the BMA said that funding protection could be reinstated later in the year if there is a ‘spike’ in Covid cases in the autumn or winter.
But NHS England last night confirmed that it has ‘no plans for QOF to be suspended or income protected for 2021/22’.
The comments were made by an NHS England moderator in response to a written question around suspension or protection of QOF to ‘allow focus on other priorities’ at NHS England’s GP webinar last night.
The BMA last month called on the health secretary to suspend QOF and other targets such as PCN DES specifications amid the fallout around face-to-face appointments in practices.
Meanwhile, GPs continue to report unsustainable workload pressures – with almost a quarter of GP partners in England saying their PCN decided to opt-out of phase 2 of the Covid vaccination campaign due to this.
The BMA has said that practices are ‘working well beyond their safe limits’ and pledged to produce guidance defining ‘unacceptable and dangerous’ workload and introduce an ‘OPEL alert’ system for use by practices and LMCs.
And Pulse survey revealed last month that two-thirds of GPs not ready to return to ‘business as usual’ due to ongoing pandemic pressure.