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GP “box-ticking” QOF scheme may be replaced

by in News, QOF

NewsGP leaders have given a cautious welcome to news that the unpopular QOF payment scheme could be abandoned.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said this week he wanted to find a successor scheme to QOF, warning it was becoming a box-ticking exercise.

QOF – the Quality and Outcomes Framework – allows GPs to earn much of their income from achieving specific targets to deliver care – but many doctors say it has simply multiplied red tape.

The British Medical Association praised the news as a “bold step, long overdue” but warned it could be used to move GPs to the new local contract, which is meant to be voluntary.

Speaking to a conference Mr Stevens said it was likely that federations of GPs using the new voluntary contract would be invited to test new ways of using the funding previously used for QOF.

BMA GP committee chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: “This bold step, long overdue, will have a positive effect on practices by reducing bureaucracy and box-ticking, and allowing GPs to focus on the complex care needs of their patients.

“It is important that the phased removal and end of QOF should apply equally to all practices, regardless of their contractual status, and must not be used as a lever for movement away from the current contract to a voluntary local contract.”

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