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Indicators no longer in QOF

Practices in some areas have been asked again to accept requests within the Calculating Quality Reporting Service (CQRS) for the extraction of indicators no longer in QOF.

GPC advised LMCs in 2015 on this data extract, confirming our position that that the decision to retire and amend these indicators was intended to reduce bureaucracy and allow practices to focus on the needs of patients. These indicators were successfully removed during negotiations as being clinically inappropriate and unhelpful to practices. As such, there is no expectation that practices should continue to focus on achieving these targets, and GPs should instead continue to use professional judgment to treat patients in accordance with best clinical practice guidelines. It is for clinicians to decide how they record clinical consultations and what codes, if any, to use.

Practices should be reassured that the previous GP contract agreement still stands, and there is no contractual requirement for practices to record codes for former QOF indicators. However, practices are also asked to note the position outlined within the 2015/16 QOF guidance - that practices are encouraged to facilitate data collection of these indicators. The data is intended to inform commissioners and practices and provide statistical information. It is not intended for any performance management purposes.

GPC anticipates a large fall in the recording of many of the retired codes, particularly those that were previously imposed, as practices now work more appropriately. In our view, allowing retired codes to be extracted could help to demonstrate how inappropriate it was to impose contract changes in the first place, as well as informing discussions between GPC and government on the development of more appropriate future indicators of quality care.

If you have any questions please email GPC at info.gpc@bma.org.uk.

Karen Day, Division Secretarial Assistant, NHS GPs Primary Care Division

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