NICE announces new 2012/13 QOF menu

NICE has today (Monday 1 August) published a set of new proposed indicators for 2012/13 QOF. Set to drive up quality of care across general practice, the “menu” will help target resources where they are most needed and deliver the best patient outcomes. Each indicator has been piloted across a range of practices and is based on the most up-to-date evidence. NICE has also today made recommendations on which existing QOF indicators should be retired or amended.

The “menu” includes three new indicators on offering support and treatment for smokers, and two new indicators to assess levels of physical activity and provide a brief intervention to people with high blood pressure who score ‘less than active'. There is also an indicator to improve care for people with asthma, and a set of indicators on fragility fractures in osteoporosis patients.

The Committee's recommendations for NICE's 2012/13 menu of indicators, together with existing indicators which should be reviewed or retired are available in full from today at:

Christine Carson, Programme Director of NICE's Centre for Clinical Practice said: “All new QOF indicators recommended by NICE have been carefully considered by the independent QOF Advisory Committee. High quality care depends on decisions being made on the basis of the best evidence. Throughout the process, we have consulted widely with professional groups, patients and community and voluntary organisations. NICE has also tested the indicators across general practice to make sure they work.

For that reason, we know that the new potential indicators can make a real difference for GPs, helping to ensure high standards of care and improve outcomes for patients in general practice. NICE's 2012/13 menu highlights clinical areas that we are confident will benefit from a new QOF indicator.”

Colin Hunter, QOF Advisory Committee Chair, said: “Our independent Committee is made up of a range of healthcare professionals, including GPs, patients and carers, commissioners and public health specialists. This wide range of expertise and experience is vital to make sure the new proposed indicators will meet the needs of modern general practice and most importantly, the patients themselves. I'm delighted with the Committee's recommendations and hope they will make a real difference to patient care.”

The selection of the final indicators for inclusion within the 2012/13 QOF will be decided by NHS Employers, on behalf of the UK health departments, and the General Practitioners Committee (GPC) of the British Medical Association (BMA). Final QOF indicators will be published by NHS Employers (NHSE) in winter 2011.


Notes to editors

About QOF

1. Introduced in 2004, the Quality and Outcomes framework (QOF) is a voluntary 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. This menu of potential indicators for 2012/13 QOF has been developed using an open and transparent process. Following recommendations from the December 2009 and June 2010 Independent QOF Advisory Committee meeting, a series of potential new 2012/13 QOF indicators were developed and subsequently piloted across a number of general practices. Stakeholders also had the chance to contribute to indicator development and were asked to comment on any challenges to implementation, possible unintended consequences and impact on health inequalities for the identified indicators.

4. Following the consultation, feedback was analysed by the QOF Independent Advisory Committee who then recommended this new set of evidence-based indicators for 2012/13 QOF.

5. NICE's recommendations are available in full at:

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.

This page was last updated: 01 August 2011

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