Changes to QOF 2006/07

Pouring pills

This page outlines the agreed changes to the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) for 2006/07

The key QOF changes, agreed by NHS Employers and the General Practitioners Committee (GPC) of the BMA for 2006/07, are:

  • Releasing 138 QOF points for new indicators, mainly in clinical areas, and reallocating a further 28 points to existing indicators where data suggests there is potential for further improvement.
  • Agreeing the following new clinical areas: heart failure, palliative care, dementia, depression, chronic kidney disease, atrial fibrillation, obesity and learning disabilities. 
  • Amending the following clinical indicator sets: mental health, asthma, stroke and transient ischaemic attack, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, epilepsy, cancer and smoking. 
  • In light of 2005 achievement data, increasing all lower thresholds for existing indicators to 40 per cent. The upper threshold remains at 90 per cent for the majority of indicators and for those with an upper threshold of less than 90 per cent, raising the upper threshold in line with the average UK 2005 achievement.
  • No changes to the exception reporting criteria for 2006 but agreeing to issue further guidance to primary care organisations on what constitutes good practice in exception reporting (see chapter 2 of the revisions to the GMS contract 2006/07 – delivering investment in general practice).

In addition to the above, NHS Employers and the GPC also agreed that QOF is a 'living thing' which is subject to change and improvement over time, as part of the negotiations process. 

Both parties expect that there will be changes to those elements of QOF where science or evidence has moved on, where indicators are no longer required, or where the workload has changed, and in the context of delivering value for the public purse

NHS Employers and the GPC also agreed that, for the ongoing success of QOF, it should:

  • have a reasonable degree of stability
  • be evidence-based
  • be supported by information management and technology software
  • be governed by an agreed process of evidence review and refinement. 

Guidance for primary care organisations

The revisions to the GMS contract 2006/07 – delivering investment in general practice document gives primary care organisations and practices an overview of the agreement and the detailed information.

Details of:

  • the new QOF indicators for 2006/07,  including technical supporting guidance can be found at Annex 1 of the revisions to the GMS contract 2006/07 document. 
  • current QOF indicators that will change or be removed can be found at Annex 2 of the revisions to the GMS contract 2006/07 document.

Exception reporting

Exception reporting was introduced to ensure that practices do not lose out on quality payments  due to factors that are outside of its control, whilst ensuring patient safety by preventing poor practice.  Practices can 'exception report' - which means a patient is not recorded against particular indicators - based on one of nine criteria, for example if a patient is either unsuitable for treatment or refused to have treatment.

For detailed guidance on exception reporting please see the Guidance on Exception Reporting 2006.

For details on the business rules process please see the ‘Developing the QOF Business Rules’ page

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