NHS Employers and the General Practitioners Committee (GPC) agreed there would be no changes to the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) for 2010/11.
This was part of a wider agreement on delivering phase one of the H1N1 vaccination programme through practices.
Although there were no changes for 2010/11, NHS Employers and the GPC agreed that the indicators recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) for retirement (equating to 28 points), would be released in 2011/12.
Informing negotiations on QOF 2011/12
NICE developed the 2010/11 indicators, as part of the agreed process for the interim transition year, which did not include piloting any indicators. This followed the Department of Health's consultation with the key stakeholders on the new process for developing QOF indicators.
Although not part of the agreed process, NICE and the independent Primary Care QOF Advisory Committee considered whether the recommended 2010/11 indicators could be piloted in time to inform the GMS contract negotiations for 2011/12. They agreed that it was not possible within the timeframe.
The 2010/11 indicators remained on the NICE menu and NHS Employers and the GPC considered those indicators along with those recommended by NICE for 2011/12.
Seasonal flu QOF indicators
On 6 January 2011 Professor Dame Sally Davies, Interim Chief Medical Officer for England, announced that practices would be able to use the monovalent Pandemrix H1N1 vaccine where there was a localised shortage of the trivalent seasonal flu vaccine for their eligible patient population.
Following this announcement, NHS Employers and the GPC agreed that for the purpose of QOF, for 2010/11 only, eligible patients who have received Pandemrix in place of the seasonal flu vaccine should count towards their achievement for the relevant QOF indicators. This agreement is applicable in England, Wales and Northern Ireland only.
Codes to allow this to be calculated automatically as part of the 2010/11 QOF achievement were made available by the end of January 2011 and published on the PCC website.
The relevant clusters are FLU_COD and TXFLU_COD and relate to:
• The chronic heart disease (CHD) ruleset
• The chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) ruleset
• The diabetes ruleset
• The stroke ruleset
Please note that these changes apply to the 2010/11 QOF only and as such from April 2011, coding for the seasonal flu indicators will revert to seasonal flu only.
For details of the payment arrangements for those practices in England where vaccines have been shared between practices, please see the page on localised shortage of trivalent seasonal flu vaccine 2010/11.
For details on the business rules process please see the ‘Developing the QOF Business Rules’ page.