Friday, 17 January 2014

Liverpool Care Pathway - No QOFing in the sticks

Choke up chicken; QOF it up. They'll all be standing back in line for the Great Leap Forward in April.

Are the men of the Shires taking up pitchfork and hoe to take on the evil Lord? Are there rumblings in the muck? Is there much binding down in the marsh?

This is from the Editor's Blog in Pulse –

Until now, the authority of Quarry House has hardly been tested, with NHS England in the centre taking a strong lead in areas of interest to GPs such as payments, and Christmas opening, and local area teams falling into step.
But all that appeared to change in dramatic fashion on Monday, when Pulse revealed that one local area team in the south west appeared to be effectively abandoning parts of the national GP contract.

GPs in Somerset were told by their CCG that they could, with the blessing of their local area team, stop reporting QOF data for the rest of the year and instead expect to be paid based on 2012/13 achievement - and that the time saved could be used as ‘thinking space’ to ‘redesign’ QOF from April.

Elsewhere, the GPC reported that Devon and Cornwall CCGs had also negotiated an agreement with local LMCs to abandon chasing QOF points that would become redundant in April anyay, with the implementation of the 2014 contract.

The revolt in Somerset hasn’t just caused consternation in BMA House - it’s caused confusion among CCGs as well. Dr Jonathan Wells, chair of Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG, immediately emailed his area team and LMC after reading the story, only to be told ‘no way’. Dr Wells’ area team, we are told, ‘expressed surprise’ at Somerset’s decision.
Abandon chasing QOF points? Can they still earn their Certificates of Merit and get a full sash of badges? Will the Tawny Owl lend a hand?

NHS England have responded in the manner that any Great Chairman responds in these circumstances to a fait accompli and decided to smudge the issue to QOF the revolt and hold the rank and file in line. The Central Committee have actually called it an innovation! Although it is not
a ‘blueprint’ that it was recommending other local area teams to follow and that it would not be suspending the QOF nationally.
This is not a counter-revolution but a radical response. When the masses bombard the headquarters, the Helmsman stands at their vanguard to lead them up the creek.

Whither the family doctors who knew that a chat with mum and the kids about the time of day was likely worth a deal more than a pill or two? Did they really exist, or did I only imagine that and are these only ancient memories that stroll through the corridors and passageways of my old brain and becoming befuddled and mixed?

There were a few good men who went into doctoring to do good and not to meet QOFs and do people in, weren’t there? Or was there only quacking on the pond?

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