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GPs to have new clinical indicators

29th July 2008

Pulse magazine has said that the government is planning to get rid of some clinical indicators in the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF).

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The publication said it had viewed a document from the Department of Health that could mean a "much more flexible system for QOF", with changes made every couple of years.

Pulse has claimed that the clinical indicators will be scrapped in order to make way for new clinical fields.

MPs are said to be discussing a "rolling QOF that changes indicators on a cyclical basis", which would enable them to put in new parts without putting up the amount of "incentive cash" given to doctors.

Professor Martin Roland, Director of the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre, issued advice at the beginning of 2008 which tallied with the alleged plans.

Professor Roland, who was responsible for designing the QOF, said that it should be cut back and indicators changed every few years.

Baroness Thornton, Labour Spokesperson for Health in the House of Lords, in response to a parliamentary question, wrote: “In line with Professor Roland, we believe the QOF should evolve."

Professor Helen Lester, Chair of the QOF Review Panel, spoke to Pulse. She said: "We have also argued for the need to both pilot new indicators and remove existing ones ...the difficulty is there is little evidence on the effect of removing an incentivised indicator on GPs’ performance."

 

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