NICE announces new 2013/14 QOF menu

NICE has today (Wednesday 1 August) published a set of new proposed indicators for the 2013/14 Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF). This scheme, which is run by the Department of Health, focuses on driving up the quality of care across general practice. The final recommended “menu” of indicators will help target resources where they are needed most and deliver the best patient outcomes. The selection of the final indicators for inclusion within the 2013/14 QOF will be decided by NHS Employers, on behalf of the UK health departments, and the General Practitioners Committee of the British Medical Association. Final QOF indicators will be published by NHS Employers in winter 2012-13.

The menu comprises one new clinical area (rheumatoid arthritis) and 16 new proposed indicators. There are four new indicators on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) which cover practices producing a register of all patients aged 16 years and over with RA, and patients with RA being assessed for cardiovascular risk and fracture risk. Two new indicators are for men with diabetes which highlight asking them about erectile dysfunction and offering advice on treatment options as needed. There are also indicators on offering patients with heart failure and COPD rehabilitation programmes, and further proposed indicators on hypertension. Indicators are based on the most up-to-date evidence and have been piloted across a range of practices with the support of the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

NICE has also today made recommendations on which existing QOF indicators should be retired or amended. The Committee's recommendations on these topics, as well as the proposed 2013/14 menu of indicators, are available in full from today on the NICE website.

Dr Gillian Leng, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Health and Social Care at NICE said: "The new potential QOF indicators can make a real difference, helping to ensure high standards of care and improve outcomes for patients in general practice. These indicators are based on the best evidence and have been subject to wide consultation withprofessional groups, patients and community and voluntary organisations, as well as being tested across general practice to make sure they work. The independent QOF Advisory Committee has carefully considered the indicators before recommending them for inclusion in this final menu, and we believe that indicators on these aspects of healthcare will help contribute to high quality outcomes for patients."

Dr Colin Hunter, QOF Advisory Committee Chair, said: "On behalf of the independent QOF Committee, I'm pleased to see our recommendations for the 2013/14 QOF published today. Our independent Committee is made up of healthcare professionals and lay members with a wide range of expertise and experience, and this is essential in making sure that the new proposed indicators will make a real difference to patient care, as well as being practicable for general practice."


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. NICE's recommendations for the 2013/14 QOF are available in full on the NICE website.

About NICE

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.
  • Commissioning Outcomes Framework - NICE develops the potential indicators for the COF, the scheme starting in 2013, which will help measure the health outcomes and quality of care commissioned by Clinical Commissioning Groups.

7. NICE provides advice and support on putting NICE guidance and standards into practice through its implementation programme, and it collates high quality guidance and evidence-based information to help professionals deliver the best patient care through NHS Evidence.

This page was last updated: 30 July 2012

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