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Agreement reached on changes to the GMS contract for 2009/10

Changes to the GP contract from next year include a reallocation of 72 Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) points.

NHS Employers and the BMA's GPs Committee (GPC) yesterday (14 October 2008) announced that they have agreed a package of changes to the General Medical Services (GMS) contract for 2009-10.

The major changes apply to the GMS contract in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the QOF changes will see practices rewarded for delivering a range of new interventions for their patients across five clinical areas:

  • Helping to prevent the development of cardiovascular disease in people diagnosed with high blood pressure.
  • Improved advice and choice on contraceptive methods.
  • A new indicator for depression to reduce early cessation of treatment.
  • Improvements to the indicators for chronic kidney disease, diabetes and chronic lung disease.
  • Improved drug treatment for people with heart failure.

The way that QOF payments are calculated will also be altered. In future this will increasingly reflect the prevalence of long-term health conditions among local populations. This aims to help address health inequalities by ensuring proportionately greater funding for practices in areas of high deprivation.

Barbara Hakin, GMS lead negotiator for NHS Employers, said: "I am delighted that we have made such good progress in our negotiations; all parties have been working hard together to ensure that we are now in a position to be able to announce these very significant changes."

Dr Laurence Buckman, Chairman of the GPC, said: "GPs and their patients will be relieved that all parties have reached an agreement. We hope this helps develop general practice funding in a way that recognises our most needy patients."

NHS Employers

What do you think to these QOF changes? Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"Not specific enough. It should ask for BMIs on hypertensive patients, and in age categories. What changes have occurred in their weight as a result of GP intervention. QOF of COC should include a 6 month check on BP and smoking when females reach 35 years. Depression and libido must also be included. With CKD all adults need CT scans to check for cystic changes. With diabetes HbA1cs should be checked annually. Stop annual LFTS with COPD as they serve no purpose. All heart patients admitted to hospital should never have their medication stopped by consultants who are not cardiologists. INRs should be part of QOF. (I have not read the new QOF changes so apologies if much of what I have said is not helpful, but I think some points are.)" - Carl Curtis, Southwark