GP says scrapping QOF in Scotland was “liberating”
A GP has said the demise of the quality and outcomes framework (QOF) in Scotland was “liberating” – calling the system nothing more than a “tick box exercise”.
Dr Kevin Fernando, a partner of North Berwick Health Centre with a special interest in diabetes, said he had embraced the 2016 decision to scrap the payment scheme in his home country.
Dr Fernando, who has been lined up to present at the UK’s largest diabetes conference Diabetes Professional Care 2018 (DPC2018), said: “Certainly for conditions such as diabetes, we all know that one size does not fit all. So, it was very liberating to lose QOF and that really allowed us to focus on that patient sat in front of us.
“I know people will debate and I think QOF did have its merits. I think certainly it did improve chronic disease management, but on the downside, it was very much of a tick box exercise.”
We do things quite differently in Scotland. We don’t have the NHS Prevention programme, but there have been very early talks with the NHS Scotland, to launch our own Scottish national diabetes prevention programme
In 2015 it was announced that the GP payment scheme, which gave surgeries money for achieving a list of outcomes, was to be stopped. The practice is still in place across England and Wales.
In the past Dr Fernando has done a lot of work looking at co-morbidity, frailty and polypharmacy in diabetes. He will present on the subject at DPC2018, alongside a series of other high-profile speakers who will also take to the stage in November.
The two-day event gives healthcare professionals the chance to share good practice and innovation, and Dr Fernando is keen to find out more about the Healthier You: NHS Prevention Programme and investigate some of its outcomes which are starting to be reported.
He said: “We do things quite differently in Scotland. We don’t have the NHS Prevention programme, but there have been very early talks with the NHS Scotland, to launch our own Scottish national diabetes prevention programme.
“Similar to England and Wales, it is a significant challenge for us and what we’re seeing at the moment is just the tip of the iceberg. We’re looking at the best way to draw on all the good stuff that’s being done within the NHSDPP and bespoke that for Scotland. I’ve heard from various colleagues that it’s perhaps not working in some areas as it had been anticipated.
“I suppose what we’re seeing more and more from NHSDPP is data produced outcomes. We’ll be looking at the outcome data very closely to see if we can match some of the good results they’re producing. We’ll also be looking at the different ways they’ve implemented it throughout England and Wales and again drawing on the best of that for Scotland.”
Dr Fernando has been confirmed as a guest speaker at DPC2018, which, once again, will take place at London’s Olympia on 14 and 15 November. The two-day conference invites delegates to attend presentations and workshops on a variety of topics, such as the childhood obesity strategy, type 2 diabetes reversal and diabetes burnouts.