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QOF report shows obesity rate increase

By Editor
26th October 2017

Obesity is among the most prevalent health conditions in England, according to newly released figures.

Diabetes rates were recorded at 6.5 per cent in 2015/16 and have gone up slightly to 6.7 per cent in 2016/17 according to the annual Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) – Prevalence, Achievements and Exceptions Report, England 2016-17 which looks at the rates of 21 health conditions across the country.

QOF is a voluntary annual reward and incentive programme for all GP surgeries in England.

The document showed the highest QOF recorded prevalence rates was hypertension (13.8 per cent), followed by obesity (9.7 per cent) and then depression (9.1 per cent).

It also said obesity had one of the greatest change in QOF recorded prevalence from 2015-16 which had increased by 0.2 percentage points.

The publication provides data for the reporting year 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 and covers all General Practices in England that participated in the QOF in 2016-17. Participation in QOF is voluntary, though participation rates are very high at 95.4 per cent.

QOF was introduced as part of the General Medical Services (GMS) contract on 1 April 2004. The objective of the QOF is to improve the quality of care patients are given by rewarding practices for the quality of care which is provided.

Conditions are grouped into categories known as indicator groups. These are:

  • Cardiovascular
  • Respiratory
  • Lifestyle
  • High dependency and other long term conditions
  • Mental health and neurology
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Fertility, obstetrics and gynaecology

Prevalence of some conditions is measured as a proportion of the total number of people registered at a surgery, whereas others are age-specific.

QOF also provides information on the activity of GPs in relation to 25 measures overall – this is expressed as achievement. Achievement scores are used to calculate what payment a general practice should receive according to the services it delivered.

In August NICE proposed incentivising GPs to refer people onto the Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP).

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

A NICE committee 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 QOF.

NHS England is running a survey to find out more about who uses QOF data. The survey can be accessed via this link and will run until December 21, 2017.

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