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NICE potential indicators for 2011/12 QOF set to provide good quality patient care

A new ´menu´ of potential indicators for the 2011/12 Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF), published today, will improve GP patient care and help reduce health inequalities. The new 2011/12 NICE menu for QOF offers a range of important topics including mental health, diabetes and dementia. Each proposed clinical and health improvement indicator for primary care is evidence-based, reflects good practice and no barriers to implementation have been identified.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has also today made recommendations on indicators to be considered for retirement. These include current indicators on mental health, epilepsy and coronary heart disease.

Potential indicators on the NICE menu for 2011/12 QOF include:

  • Diabetes - Two new indicators on foot examination to improve diabetes related foot-care and improve patient outcomes
  • Dementia - A new indicator to highlight people with a treatable cause of dementia
  • Mental health - Six new indicators to improve GP patient care for patients with schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder and other pyschoses

NHS Employers (on behalf of the four UK health departments) and the General Practitioners Committee (GPC 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 (NHSE) in winter 2010.

Dr Fergus Macbeth, Director, NICE Centre for Clinical Practice, said:“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. Throughout the NICE process for QOF, we have consulted widely with professional groups, patients and community and voluntary organisations in the development of these indicators because we value their input highly. The final menu of indicators will help standardise current practice and deliver the best health outcomes for GP patients.”

Colin Hunter, QOF Advisory Committee Chair, said: “Our committee is made up of a range of healthcare professionals, including GPs and other primary care health professionals, patients and carers, commissioners, pharmacists and public health specialists. This wide range of expertise and experience is vital to ensure our potential new indicators reflect best practice for GPs.

“I'm confident these potential new indicators for 2011/12 QOF, together with our recommendations on which indicators which can be retired, will drive up quality of care across general practice. NICE has a key role for QOF and our recommendations will help tackle health inequalities and, importantly, target resources where they are most needed.”

Ends

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 2011/12 QOF has been developed using an open and transparent process. Following recommendations from the June 2009 Independent QOF Advisory Committee meeting, a series of potential new 2011/12 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 2011/12 QOF.

5. NICE published the first menu of potential indicators in August 2009 for the 2010/11 Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) together with recommendations on indicators to be considered for retirement. Negotiations between the GPC and NHS Employers on the 2010/11 QOF were carried out alongside a set of unique and important circumstances for primary care, principally the ongoing concerns over swine flu and the important role primary care has to play in delivering flu vaccinations. Regrettably the NICE menu for QOF could not be taken forward in these unique circumstances.

About NICE

1. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the independent organisation responsible for providing national guidance 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 and procedures within the NHS
  • clinical practice - guidance on the appropriate treatment and care of people with specific diseases and conditions within the NHS.

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This page was last updated: 03 August 2010

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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.