Changes to QOF - details available

The BMA has moved faster than I have ever seen in getting details of the new QOF indicators out. After a rather vague press release this morning this afternoon produced a letter from Lawrence Buckman with a link to the details of the QOF changes.

It is only three pages and well worth a read. Highlights include the addition of a requirement for albumin:creatinine ratio in all patients on the chronic kidney disease register. This may raise a few eyebrows in biochemistry labs around the country who may not know what is going to hit them. (If they want to know what is going to hit them then a quick browse around the CKD register on the site may be useful. Around 1.8 million urine samples are headed their way.)

The current contraception indicators have gone and are replace by 8 points - six of which are for plugging coils and implants. It will be interesting to see the evidence base for this one. This will be at least a small crumb of comfort to university practices likely to be hit hard by the loss of the square root formula.

There is a bit about primary prevention in those newly diagnosed with hypertension - which should be a manageable number. In essence this boils down to finding out if they smoke, eat badly, drink alcohol and take no exercise and telling them not to do these things. I am really trying not to be cynical but very few patients are under any illusions about any of these things and it always seems a little lame.

There is a tidy up in diabetes with three thresholds including a tough 7% HbA1c (again evidence will be interesting to see). Inhaler technique is out and the MRC assessment - which is purely function is in. Actually quite a usable scale and much easier than finding an inhaler and watching them use it.

Finally depression. There is a new indicator for the reassessment of depression severity after 5-12 weeks using PHQ-9 or whatever. The patients aren't free of the questionnaires yet!

The last word has to go to Laurence Buckman - chair of the General Practitioners Committee and now Youtube star.

No comments: