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NICE's potential indicators for 2010/11 QOF

NICE has published the first menu of potential indicators for the 2010/11 Quality and Outcomes Framework

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published the first menu of potential indicators for the 2010/11 Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), together with recommendations on indicators to be considered for retirement. NHS employers now will consult with the British Medical Association (BMA) on which indicators should be introduced for the 2010/11 QOF.

NICE took over the arrangements for managing the process of developing new - and reviewing existing - indicators in April 2009. This first menu published under its stewardship was developed under a transitional process using the reports already published by the previous QOF expert panel - a consortium of academic bodies co-ordinated by the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre (NPCRDC). Their recommendations for new QOF indicators were then prioritised by the new independent Primary Care QOF Indicator Advisory Committee during meetings in June and published on the NICE website on August 10. Proposed new indicators include two new levels for controlling blood pressure in patients with diabetes, indicators for measuring and recording thyroid-stimulating hormones in patients with learning disabilities, and indicators for offering information on contraception, conception and pregnancy to women with epilepsy.

All new indicators proposed on the list are accompanied by supporting information, which gives background on why it was put forward for consideration and the potential benefits that offering incentives in this area of healthcare will bring.

The menu also includes the QOF Advisory Committee's recommendations on which existing indicators could be considered for retirement from the QOF, in order to encourage further improvements in the quality of patient care and ensure the best use of NHS resources. When making this decision, the committee considered the likely impact on patient care of retiring certain indicators from the QOF.

According to Val Moore, NICE implementation director: "High quality care depends on decisions made on the basis of the best evidence. Therefore, today's announcement of NICE's first menu of potential indicators to be published since NICE officially took up its new role in the development of QOF indicators on April 1 is a significant milestone, not just for the QOF, but also in ensuring optimum health outcomes for patients."

The menu of potential new indicators for the 2010/11 QOF, along with the independent QOF Indicator Advisory Committee's recommendations on existing indicators being considered for retirement from the framework, is available on www.nice.org.uk/aboutnice/gof/gof.jsp.

10th August 2009

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