National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
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Call for new QOF topics

GPs and other health professionals, along with patients and charity groups, are being invited to suggest topics for new indicators for the 2013/14 Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF).

Suggestions, for the final phase of development of the indicators, should be based on NICE guidance or other NHS Evidence accredited sources.

Introduced in 2004, QOF is an annual incentive scheme that rewards GP practices in the UK for how well they care for patients.

NICE took over the arrangements for managing the process of developing indicators and reviewing the existing indicators in April 2009.

It established a new independent Primary Care Quality and Outcomes Framework Indicator Advisory Committee responsible for reviewing existing QOF indicators and recommending new ones before producing a national “menu” of approved indicators which will be made available through the NICE website.

The first phase of topic suggestion for the 2013/14 QOF began back in September 2010.

The Primary Care QOF Advisory Committee considered suitable suggestions in December 2010 and agreed to reword the chosen recommendations into indicators suitable for GP clinical systems, and to pilot a number of potential indicators in 30 representative practices across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

This process will be repeated for topics prioritised by the committee following this final phase of topic suggestion.

Dr Fergus Macbeth, Clinical Practice Centre Director at NICE, said: “We actively encourage anyone with an interest in health to contribute to every stage of the NICE process for QOF. For that reason, we've made it very easy for individuals and stakeholders to submit topics online for development for the 2013/14 framework.

“We value these comments highly and look forward to receiving contributions. In summer 2012, we will publish the final menu of proposed indicators, together with recommendations about existing indicators, including those which should be retired.”

The online topic suggestion facility, where ideas for new QOF indicators can be proposed, is open for four weeks from Monday 31 January until Monday 28 February.

When this four-week period closes each suggestion will be reviewed against criteria provided in the submission form. Suitable suggestions for the QOF will be presented to an independent advisory committee later this summer.

Comments can also be made on any existing QOF indicators through the online ‘submit your comment' facility which is open all year round and enables people to input into the review of indicators.

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