There is confusion in some GP practices about what they should be doing about QOF this year. On January 7th NHS England published a letter (www.ardens.live/7jan) confirming the following:
- CCGs have been asked to suspend all Locally Commissioned Services activity.
- The QOF Quality Improvement domain will be fully income protected. GP practices will be automatically awarded 74 points for the 2020/21 financial year.
- The QOF targets for flu vaccinations and cervical smears remain active.
- The rest of QOF has been points protected for 2020/21. Practices will receive the same number of QOF points in 2020/21 that they received in 2019/20.
It is important to understand that this does not mean that your QOF income is protected at 2019/20 levels. QOF income is prevalence weighted and practices should ensure their disease registers are accurate by 31st March. If you have not already used the Ardens Case-Finding searches to correct any historical coding errors please review the email that I sent in November (https://ardens.live/qof-prevalence) explaining how to use these to ensure practice disease registers are accurate.
Since QOF point achievement is fully protected this year I would strongly encourage practices to review their disease registers. There is unlikely to ever be another opportunity to improve data quality issues in your GP practice (and maximise income) with no risk of QOF points falling. This is because adding patients to a disease register usually carries a risk of affecting QOF point achievement if they haven't had a review.
If you are a GP practice that is not currently using Ardens you can access our Case-Finding searches (and all of our other resources) by signing up for a 3-month free trial at www.ardens.org.uk/trial.
It is worth noting that the Network DES IIF targets are currently still in force and PCNs may wish to continue to work towards achieving these.