The final set of proposals for the 2015/16 quality and outcomes framework (QOF) have been released by the National Institute for Care and Health Excellence (NICE).
The chosen indicators, which will be discussed by the British Medical Association’s GP Committee and NHS Employers, will be included into the QOF in April 2015.
NICE believes the updated QOF menu will help target resources to where they are most needed, delivering better results for patients.
New additions to the NICE QOF menu include:
- New indicators to support high quality care for people with newly diagnosed hypertension
- A new diabetes care processes indicator designed to support holistic and comprehensive care for people with diabetes
- A new indicator to help ensure that women with a severe mental illness are given information and advice about pregnancy, conception or contraception.
The controversial ‘all-in-one’ diabetes indicator has also been put forward, which would require GPs to complete eight annual process checks in order to receive any points.
Over a year the proposed indicator, which could be worth over £5,000, would require GPs to carry out:
- BMI measurement
- Blood pressure measurement
- HbA1c measurement
- Cholesterol measurement
- Record of smoking status
- Food examination
- Albumin: creatinine ratio
- Serum creatinine measurement
Several QOF indicators have been updated to reflect amended NICE guidance. People with atrial fibrillation should not be offered aspirin for stroke prevention, according to the updated guidance.
The guidance also recommends the use of a new tool to assess the risk of stroke. To reflect this, two new atrial fibrillation indicators have been added to the QOF menu, and one has been taken out.
And two new chronic kidney disease QOF indicators have been suggested by NICE to align with the latest guidance.
Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director of health and social care at NICE said: “These new indicators for general practice will help set high standards of care and improved outcomes for patients.
“All of the indicators are based on the best evidence and have been developed in consultation with professional groups, patients and community and voluntary organisations. They have also been 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 are confident they will improve patients’ health.”
Dr Colin Hunter, chair of the QOF Advisory Committee said: “[We] have thoroughly reviewed evidence-based guidance, consultation responses and feedback from piloting, so we believe the indicators that we’ve put forward on today’s menu will improve the care that GPs provide for their patients.
“Our advisory Committee is made up of healthcare professionals including GPs and lay members with a wide range of expertise.
“This depth of experience is invaluable in helping us reach robust clinical decisions on indicators that are practical for GPs to undertake, and we expect will be essential for improving the quality of care.”