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NICE opens consultation on potential new QOF indicators

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has today (Monday 28 February) opened its consultation on potential new clinical and health improvement indicators for the 2012/13 Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF). Anyone with an interest in health is encouraged to submit their comments via the NICE website [1]. Individuals and stakeholders are asked to consider any implementation challenges, impact on health inequalities or possible unintended consequences for this new set of proposed indicators.

Following recommendations from the December 2009 and June 2010 QOF Advisory Committee meeting, a series of new indicators has been developed. The development process for potential QOF indicators includes piloting across the UK and public consultation. Potential new indicators for the NICE menu for the 2012/13 QOF include those relating to asthma, cardiovascular disease, obesity and smoking.

Feedback from the consultation, together with results from the piloting process, will be presented to the QOF Committee to consider. It will then recommend which indicators should be considered for inclusion in the QOF. A “menu” of these approved indicators will be published in summer 2011.

Dr Fergus Macbeth, Director of the Centre for Clinical Practice at NICE, said:“Our consultation on potential new indicators is an important part of NICE's transparent and open QOF process. It gives interested individuals and stakeholders a clear opportunity to contribute to the development of 2012/13 QOF indicators before the committee meets to make its final decision, and we encourage everyone to take part. The consultation is open for four weeks from Monday 28 February until Monday 28 March 2011.”

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Notes to editors

About QOF

1. Introduced in 2004, the Quality and Outcomes framework (QOF) is an annual incentive scheme that rewards GP practices in the UK for implementing systematic improvements in quality of care for patients. The QOF operates through a points system which rewards GPs for their performance in relation to groups of indicators. These payments range from those relating to clinical and health improvement topics such as coronary heart disease and hypertension to patient experience topics such as the length of consultations. NICE's role is only concerned with the clinical and health improvement indicators.

2. NICE took over the arrangements for managing the new process of developing indicators and reviewing the existing indicators in April 2009. It established a new independent Primary Care Quality and Outcomes Framework Indicator Advisory Committee responsible for reviewing existing QOF indicators and recommending new ones before producing a national “menu” of approved indicators which will be made available through the NICE website.

3. Topic suggestion for the 2012/13 Quality and Outcomes Framework took place in September 2009 and February 2010. Topics prioritized by the committee for indicator development were put through a formal indicator development process by the NICE External Contractor (NEC). This process has two elements: first, formal consensus methods are used to reword the recommendations into indicators that are likely to be valid and can be extracted from GP clinical systems. Second, these indicators are then piloted in representative practices across England and in a smaller number of practices in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

4. Both the results of piloting and consultation comments will be reviewed by the QOF advisory committee in June 2011 which will then recommend which indicators should be approved for publication by NICE in its annual “menu” of indicators.

5. NICE will publish a proposed list of indicators for 2012/13 QOF, together with recommendations on indicators to be considered for retirement in summer 2011. NHS Employers (on behalf of the four UK health departments) and the General Practitioners Committee (GPC of the British Medical Association) will then decide which indicators will be included within the 2012/13 QOF. The final QOF indicators will be published by NHS Employers (NSHE).

About NICE

1. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the independent organisation responsible for providing national guidance and standards on the promotion of good health and the prevention and treatment of ill health.

2. NICE produces guidance in three areas of health:

  • public health - guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention of ill health for those working in the NHS, local authorities and the wider public and voluntary sector
  • health technologies - guidance on the use of new and existing medicines, treatments, medical technologies (including devices and diagnostics) and procedures within the NHS
  • clinical practice - guidance on the appropriate treatment and care of people with specific diseases and conditions within the NHS.

3. NICE produces standards for patient care:

  • quality standards - these reflect the very best in high quality patient care, to help healthcare practitioners and commissioners of care deliver excellent services
  • Quality and Outcomes Framework - NICE develops the clinical and health improvement indicators in the QOF, the Department of Health scheme which rewards GPs for how well they care for patients.

4. NICEprovides advice and support on putting NICE guidance and standards into practice through its implementation programme, and it collates and accredits high quality health guidance, research and information to help health professionals deliver the best patient care through NHS Evidence.

[1] Please visit http://www.nice.org.uk/aboutnice/qof/ConsultationQOFIndicators.jspfor a full list of potential indicators for the 2012/13 Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF).

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This page was last updated: 28 February 2011

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Accessibility | Cymraeg | Freedom of information | Vision Impaired | Contact Us | Glossary | Data protection | Copyright | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions

Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.

Accessibility | Cymraeg | Freedom of information | Vision Impaired | Contact Us | Glossary | Data protection | Copyright | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions

Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.