NICE announces 2011/12 QOF indicators
GPs could be given new incentives to improve the care of patients with diabetes, dementia and mental health problems like schizophrenia, after NICE announced a menu of potential indicators for the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF).
Introduced in 2004, QOF is a voluntary annual incentive scheme that rewards GP practices in the UK for implementing improvements in the quality of care for patients.
The 2011/12 indicators for QOF are designed to improve patient care and help reduce health inequalities. Each indicator is evidence-based, reflects good practice and has no barriers to implementation.
Potential indicators include:
- Diabetes - two new indicators on foot examination to improve diabetes-related foot care and to improve patients' outcomes
- Dementia - a new indicator to identify people with a treatable cause of dementia
- Mental Health - six new indicators to improve care for patients with schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder and other psychoses.
NICE has also made recommendations on indicators to be considered for retirement. These include current indicators on mental health, epilepsy and coronary heart disease.
Dr Colin Hunter, QOF Advisory Committee Chair, and a GP in Aberdeen, said: “I'm confident these potential new indicators for 2011/12 QOF, together with our recommendations on which indicators can be retired, will drive up quality of care across general practice. NICE has a key role in QOF and our recommendations will help tackle health inequalities and, importantly, target resources where they are most needed.”
Dr Fergus Macbeth, Director, NICE Centre for Clinical Practice, added: "High quality care depends on decisions made on the basis of the best evidence. This menu of potential indicators for the 2011/12 QOF highlights clinical areas that evidence shows may benefit from a QOF indicator.
The final menu of indicators will help standardise current practice and deliver the best health outcomes for GP patients."
NHS Employers and the General Practitioners Committee of the British Medical Association will now decide which indicators will be included within the 2011/12 QOF. The final QOF indicators will be published by NHS Employers in winter 2010.
Listen to Professor Tim Stokes, a GP and clinical consultant to NICE's QOF programme explaining just how the QOF works, the benefits it brings to patients and NICE's role in developing the framework.
4 August 2010
This page was last updated: 06 August 2010