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‘No plans’ for 2021/22 QOF suspension or income protection, says NHSE


PCSE payment issues


NHS England has said that it has ‘no plans’ to suspend QOF or income-protect it for GP practices this year.

QOF income had been all or partly protected since the beginning of the Covid pandemic until April this year, when GPs were expected to restart all QOF activity.

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.

It comes as new guidance commissioned by an NHS England task group has said that GP practices should restore spirometry services ‘as a matter of urgency’, against BMA advice.

In March, the BMA told Pulse that GPs can refer patients requiring spirometry for an asthma diagnosis to secondary care in order to achieve QOF points when activity restarted in April.

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.

READERS' COMMENTS [5]

Chris GP 4 June, 2021 2:59 pm

Perhaps cessation of all poorly paid (or not paid at all) non core non qof work would be an appropriate response to this? This may at least free up some time for QOF work – and send a lot of work into 2ndry care which might make the NHSE bullies take note (who am I kidding!?).

Sanjoy Kumar 4 June, 2021 3:16 pm

To not build resilience by not protecting GP Practices in the face of a variant strain of Covid which has a vastly increased rate of infectivity is short sighted. Additionally if the variant is not covered by the vaccine, this will alter our course and there will be another wave.
My advise is whatever you plan……plan resilience…..

Chris GP 4 June, 2021 4:02 pm

“My advise is whatever you plan……plan resilience…..”

……plan to retire

Just My Opinion 4 June, 2021 6:58 pm

Even if they protected it no one would trust them not to change their minds later in the year.

Fool me once…

Patrufini Duffy 4 June, 2021 8:30 pm

If you keep spending 15 minutes extra per day at work. Generally speaking:

15*5 = 75 minutes/wk
75*4*12 = 3,600 minutes/year
= 60 hours
60hrs/8 = 7.5 awake days

*7.5 average work days a year.
Wasted for them, on a fixed contract. Time is life, not money.