Results of negotiations on next year's contract have been released last night. There is quite a bit of information although the final details are not absolutely clear.
First off there is a bit about money. There is agreement on how uplift for 2009/10 will be allocated. This may prove to be a bit academic in the current climate as it is not entirely clear whether there will be any extra cash on the table. This will be up to the DDRB. The cash will be divided up with 37% going to the Global Sum - 11% to the correction factor (to maintain MPIG) - 26% to QOF and 26% to Enhanced Services.
The effect of the above is likely to allow the Global Sum and MPIG to rise roughly together but a larger percentage increase in QOF and even large in Enhanced Services. Thus QOF is going to be a more significant income source to practices than it was before.
So what of the QOF itself? Well the big thing to go is the survey. The Department of Health has decided to do its own, by post. This is probably a relief to practices, to whom the administration was a hassle, and to those patients who feel bombarded by surveys. It may be a bit of a kick in the teeth for the nice people at GPAQ but there is of course nothing to stop people from continuing to pass them out anyway.
This will free 55 points from PE 2 and PE 6. There are also another 17 points being shaved off other (undisclosed) indicators. There is probably an interesting bit of work to show the effects of shaving points on overall achievement in those areas. These 72 points are going into new clinical indicators for which we have some vague suggestions. Official(ish) bits in bold.
- Helping to prevent the development of cardiovascular disease in people diagnosed with high blood pressure (13 pts) - other than controlling their blood pressure I assume. Possibly cholesterol measurement but this does not seem enough points for this - just measuring BP currently gets 20 points.
- Advice on long term contraception(10 pts) - for whom? Is this to combat teenage pregnancy. Long term contraception tends to be used in the over 30s - aiming to change this?
- A new indicator for depression to reduce early cessation of treatment (20 pts) - no idea how this might work.
- Beta blockers for heart failure (9 pts) - which is one of this year's new DESs
- Improvements to the indicators for chronic kidney disease (11 pts), diabetes (7pts) and chronic lung disease (2pts) - or at the very least changes.
In addition the square root formula has gone from next year, and with the uplift for those practices with less than 5% of the maximum prevalence will go in 2010/11. These changes turn things into a much simpler item of service payment once over the 40% threshold.
Updated 12:45 with points data and square root stuff.