Plans to link QOF to type 2 prevention programme referrals

By Editor
2nd August 2017
Department of Health

NICE has proposed incentivising GPs to refer people onto NHS England’s national type 2 diabetes prevention.

The health watchdog has put forward an indicator to reward general practice for the percentage of people referred who are diagnosed with non-diabetic hyperglycaemia in the previous 12 months.

Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP) started with pilot sites in April 2016 and 13 new sites were unveiled in June as part of wave 2 of programme, but while referrals exceeded targets in the first year only 7,232 people took up the 20,000 available spaces.

A NICE committee has approved the indicator following a consultation and it is now on a menu of indicators put forward to NHS England. The next stage would involve NHS England working with stakeholders to establish if, and how, it should be rolled out.

If it passes this stage, the indicator would then be part of the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), the voluntary annual reward and incentive programme for all GP surgeries in England.

A document detailing the indicator was published on August 1. It states: “People with an elevated HbA1c between 42-47 mmol/mol (fasting plasma glucose 5.5-6.9 mmol/l) are at increased risk developing type 2 diabetes. Progression may be prevented or delayed through lifestyle changes with a focus upon diet, weight and exercise.

“People are more likely to be successful if they receive intensive support to make these changes and NHS England has invested in an intensive lifestyle change programme targeted at people with non-diabetic hyperglycaemia. Roll-out of this programme has commenced in a small number of areas but should be available throughout England by 2020.”

The wave 2 of the programme will cover another 25 per cent of the population, with an estimated 130,000 referrals and up to 50,000 additional places made available thanks to the expansion. Funding has also been agreed for another 12 months in the 27 sites currently up and running, it was announced in June.

The ambition is for the programme to eventually cover the whole of the country and these figures could rise to as many as 200,000 referrals and more than 80,000 people on programmes by 2018/19.

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