Headlines: March 20th, 2009

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) is to oversee the incentive scheme which provides extra payments for GPs providing extra or good quality services.

Following a 13-week Department of Health consultation it has been decided that NICE, with its experience of providing independent health advice, will run the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF). The framework contains the clinical indicators that lead to extra payments.

These indicators will be reviewed as part of NICE taking on the role.

Part of its remit is to develop a more transparent and inclusive process for prioritising indicators which will then be negotiated with the British Medical Association and NHS Employers.

Val Moore, NICE Implementation Director, says the new indicators will also have to be under-pinned by evidence of clinical and cost effectiveness.

The QOF rewards GP practices for managing some of the most common chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart failure; improving health; organising practices well; how patients view their experience at the surgery and the quality of extra services offered such as child health and maternity services.