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Potential QOF indicators published

A new “menu” of potential indicators for the 2011/12 Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF), published today, will improve GP patient care and help reduce health inequalities.

The new 2011/12 National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) menu for QOF offers a range of important topics, including mental health, diabetes and dementia. Each proposed clinical and health improvement indicator for primary care is evidence-based, reflects good practice and no barriers to implementation have been identified.
NICE has also today made recommendations on indicators to be considered for retirement. These include current indicators on mental health, epilepsy and coronary heart disease.

Potential indicators on the NICE menu for 2011/12 QOF include:

  • Diabetes - Two new indicators on foot examination to improve diabetes related foot care and improve patient outcomes.       
  • Dementia - A new indicator to highlight people with a treatable cause of dementia.
  • Mental health - Six new indicators to improve GP patient care for patients with schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder and other pyschoses.

NHS Employers (on behalf of the four UK health departments) and the General Practitioners Committee (GPC of the British Medical Association) will now decide which indicators will be included within the 2011/12 QOF.

The final QOF indicators will be published by NHS Employers (NHSE) in winter 2010. Dr Fergus Macbeth, Director, NICE Centre for Clinical Practice, said: “High-quality care depends on decisions made on the basis of the best evidence. This menu of potential indicators for the 2011/12 QOF highlights clinical areas that evidence shows may benefit from a QOF indicator.

"Throughout the NICE process for QOF, we have consulted widely with professional groups, patients and community and voluntary organisations in the development of these indicators because we value their input highly. The final menu of indicators will help standardise current practice and deliver the best health outcomes for GP patients.”

Colin Hunter, QOF Advisory Committee Chair, said: “Our committee is made up of a range of healthcare professionals, including GPs and other primary care health professionals, patients and carers, commissioners, pharmacists and public health specialists. This wide range of expertise and experience is vital to ensure our potential new indicators reflect best practice for GPs.

“I'm confident these potential new indicators for 2011/12 QOF, together with our recommendations on which indicators which can be retired, will drive up quality of care across general practice. NICE has a key role for QOF and our recommendations will help tackle health inequalities and, importantly, target resources where they are most needed.”