QOF indicators consultation 2016

The NICE indicators consultation is currently live and will be open until the end of the month. This is a combination of CCG indicators and QOF indicators as well as some other indicators for GPs which will not carry incentives.

You can read my response here but there is nothing particularly inspiring. Perhaps of most concern is a suggestion of a atrial fibrillation screening scheme that is not supported by the National Screening Committee or even the NICE guidelines although the consultation document does make it sound like the NICE guidelines say something else. Ooops!

Retired QOF Indicators

QOF in 2014/15 was quite a bit smaller than it had been the year before. This was largely due to the removal of clinical indicators and the funding being moved into the global sum. Other points were moved to the new admission avoidance DES.

One thing that did not receive much publicity at the time was that NHS England planned to continue to monitor some of the indicators that had been removed. These results have now been published. Things did not go entirely to plan and for technical and other reasons just over half of the practices actually have data available. HSCIC refer to these as "Indicators no longer in QOF" or INLIQ. This is now on the site and can be identified by the grey colour of the data in the table.

The HSCIC does warn about comparing this data with previous years as they say that the dates and rules may differ. In practice they don't actually vary very much at all. There is a more important reason to be a little cautious and that is these indicators are no longer curated by the practices. Whilst exception reporting still applies practices are far less likely to enter exception codes where there is little reason to do so. The biggest drops occur where there has been little clinical benefit to patients in the views of GPs.

Somerset CCG is a special case. Lots of indicators were effectively retired there in 2014/15 although prevalence was still counted and other indicators continued as quality measures. There is therefore a lot more grey in the Somerset statistics than in the rest of England.

The indicators themselves remain the same. Internally (and when I run the downloads) each indicator now has an "active" flag. If an indicator is not active then it is presented in a grey font. This gives maximum flexibility as things may changes rapidly and differently across the country in the next couple of years.