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Thursday 29 September 2016
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Patient care "at heart of quality incentive scheme"

Improving patient care is the prime focus of planned changes to the GP quality incentive scheme, to be overseen by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE).

Health minister Ben Bradshaw made the assurance pending a review of the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), which is being negotiated by the British Medical Association and the NHS.

From 1 April, NICE will oversee the annual process of reviewing the benefits and cost effectiveness of the indicators that are included in the QOF.

The framework supports other schemes for improving healthcare, such as extending surgery opening hours to allow patients to see a GP at evenings and weekends.

Mr Bradshaw said that, thanks to the current scheme, the UK leads the world in providing incentives to improve the quality of patient care.

He said: "We want to ensure that GP practices continue to deliver more improvements to patient care, and are better supported in keeping patients healthy.

"It is important that the scheme continues to provide the best health outcomes and value for money for patients. Asking NICE to lead this new process for prioritising and reviewing indicators will ensure the system is constantly updated to meet changing health needs."

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