NICE, the health and social care guidance body, has opened a public consultation today on potential new indicators for the 2015/16 Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF). The potential new indicators have been developed to improve the quality of care provided by family doctors.
Anyone with an interest in health, including health professionals, patients, community groups and voluntary organisations, is encouraged to take part. Comments are welcomed via the NICE website (www.nice.org.uk) and stakeholders are asked to consider issues such as unintended consequences of introducing individual indicators, or any factors that might affect their implementation.
The “menu” includes six proposed indicators relating to hypertension, there is also a potential indicator to improve the general care for people who have a diagnosis of diabetes.
The new list of 10 potential indicators has been developed following recommendations from the QOF committee meetings, and indicators are currently being piloted in representative practices across the UK to test their feasibility and acceptability.
The indicators which are part of this consultation are not the final indicators; the QOF advisory committee will consider results of the piloting and consultation feedback in June 2014 before recommending which of these potential indicators should be included in the menu for the 2015/16 QOF.
A process of negotiation between the four UK health departments, and general practitioners representatives will then ultimately decide which indicators will be included within the 2015/16 QOF. The final QOF indicators will be published by NHS Employers.
Professor Gillian Leng, Health and Social Care Director at NICE, said: “This consultation on potential new indicators is an integral part of NICE’s process for QOF. It provides the opportunity for everyone with an interest to contribute to the development of indicators for the 2015/16 Quality and Outcomes Framework. We value this input highly and all feedback will help the QOF Advisory Committee decide which indicators will be put forward for publication on the NICE menu for the QOF.
“The final menu of indicators, expected to be published on the NICE website in August 2014, will support healthcare professionals to improve the quality of patient care, based on the best available evidence.
“The last round of negotiations resulted in some changes to QOF in England. NICE is working with NHS England and will talk to the devolved administrations to ensure that indicators reflect any change in strategic direction for QOF. In the meantime indicators continue to be developed in line with the current process.”