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More GPs achieving top QOF marks

Nearly 200 practices hit maximum points according to new figures

Mark Gould

Thursday, 01 November 2012

More GP practices are achieving the maximum points under the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) system that rewards and incentivises GPs, according to new statistics.

The number of practices achieving the maximum 1,000 points was up to 2.4 per cent (192 out of 8,123), from 1.3 per cent (105 out of 8,245) the previous year.

The figures, covering 8,123 practices, published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, show practices achieved an average of 96.9 per cent of the points available in 2011/12, compared with 94.7 per cent the previous year.

It’s the first time that both achievement and exceptions data have been published together for the first time by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). Previously, these data had been published in individual reports in different weeks.

The report shows that in 2011/12:

  • 2.4 per cent of practices (192 out of 8,123) achieved the maximum 1000 points available, compared to 1.3 per cent (105 out of 8,245) in the previous year.
  • On average, practices achieved 96.9 per cent of the points available, compared to 94.7 per cent in the previous year.
  • 95 per cent of practices have an overall exception rate for the clinical domain of under 10.1 per cent.
  • Considering information about disease prevalence that can be calculated from QOF patient registers, in 2011/12:
  • Of the 14 areas with prevalence estimates; high blood pressure (hypertension) had the highest overall prevalence at 13.6 per cent (7.6 million) of patients on registers (compared to 13.5 per cent (7.5 million) of patients in 2010/11).
  • Of the six areas with age-specific patient registers (chronic kidney disease, diabetes, epilepsy, learning disabilities, obesity and depression), depression had the highest prevalence at 11.7 per cent (5.1 million) of patients aged 18 and over (compared to 11.2 per cent (4.9 million) of patients in 2010/11).

In the light of the figures the BMA has urged the government not to undermine the good work of GPs given achievement levels were rising.

BMA GPs Committee chair Dr Laurence Buckman said: "GPs should be very proud of these results, which show extremely high levels of achievement across the board.

“What GPs need is proper funding and resources so that this success can be maintained.  The government’s decision to impose a series of ill-thought-out changes to the GP contract threatens to undermine the excellent track record of hard-working GPs.”

HSCIC chief executive Tim Straughan said: “Part of the power of information is how complete a picture it offers. As such I am very pleased to welcome the QOF achievement and exception data being published together for the first time.

“This offers a fuller view of practice activity in relation to the QOF – where achievement and exception reporting can be viewed side by side - than in previous years.

“Today's figures also offer important estimates based on GP patient registers around the prevalence of common chronic conditions. This information points to high blood pressure as the most prevalent condition on the QOF registers in England, while for age-specific registers, depression is the most prevalent among patients aged 18 and over, affecting about one in 10 registered patients of this age.”

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