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GP contract 14/15 guidance


Dear colleagues

The LMC has been advised that a message similar to the one copied below with the link to the relevant document has been or will be sent to every practice:

In the HSCIC communication of 30 December (see extract below), practices were advised that Retired QOF indicators 2014/15 Quality Service had been added to CQRS.This will now be offered by the Area Team and practices are asked to participate in this service on CQRS by 23 January 2015.

You will recall that, as part of the contractual agreement for 2014/15, 341 points were identified to be released from QOF with the activity and associated funding transferred to the core GP contract through global sum and enhanced services. 238 points were transferred to global sum and 103 points were used to fund enhanced services. The rationale for this was that it is good practice to deliver these services and by removing the indicators from QOF would reduce bureaucracy and the recording of activity that was not clinically indicated.

It was recognised however that information would still need to be extracted in order to demonstrate the ongoing delivery of good patient care and to provide vital statistical information for associated healthcare organisations.It was agreed during negotiations that this information would continue to be extracted and this will be the through the “Retired QOF” extraction.

It is understood that the extraction will be in respect of 24 former QOF indicators and it is a requirement for general practices to ensure they continue to provide the services linked to these indicators. – full details can be found at the attached link: Retired_QOF_indicators_QS_2014-15.pdf

You will note that the message states :

It is understood that the extraction will be in respect of 24 former QOF indicators and it is a requirement for general practices to ensure they continue to provide the services linked to these indicators.”

This is utter nonsense. The agreement was simply that data would continue to be extracted and may inform future negotiations, as detailed on page 4 of the attached QOF joint guidance document.The only requirement on practices is that they provide essential services delivered in the manner determined by the practice that meet the reasonable needs of their patients, not that they continue to fulfil the requirements of now defunct QOF indicators.This was entirely the reason why this year’s contract deal was negotiated, in order to free up practices from unnecessary bureaucracy and allow them to determine exactly how clinical care to their patients is delivered.As the QOF document states:

NHS Employers and the GPC have now agreed changes (summarised at section eight) to reduce QOF by retiring and amending a significant number of indicators. These changes are intended to reduce bureaucracy, allow GPs and practice staff more time to focus on the needs of individual patients and avoid unnecessary annual recall and testing of patients. The term 'based on NICE menu ID XX' is used torefer to NICE indicators amended by negotiations. GPs will use their professional judgement and will continue to treat patients in accordance with best clinical practice guidelines. The resources released from the indicator retirements are redirected into core services and improvements in enhanced services, to enable work to be done in a more clinically appropriate way.

A reduction in recording activity therefore is to be expected and indeed welcomed, and does not equate to a reduction in quality of care.Gathering crude numbers will not enable the Area Team, your CCG, should it take on delegated responsibility for managing your contract, or the CQC for that matter to ascertain ‘ongoing delivery of good patient care’.

GPC has been asked to urgently discuss this matter with NHS England and ensure thatthis totally false and misleading statement is corrected and I hope we will get a national statement on this shortly.

It goes without saying that failure to participate in this data extraction or to demonstrate that all retired QOF indicators are still being met will not affect your GP contractual payments.

Click here to download the document "Retired QOF indicators communication".

Click here to download the document "14-15 QOF Guidance".

Dr. Robert Morley
Executive Secretary
Birmingham Local Medical Committee

36 Harborne Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 3AF

Tel. 0121-454 5008, Fax. 0121-455 0758
Office email:
Birmingham Local Medical Committee
Supporting the Business of General Practice


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