The Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) is a component of the General Medical Services contract.

QOF is a voluntary annual reward and incentive programme for all GP surgeries in England, detailing practice achievement results. It is not intended as a performance management tool but to resource and reward good practice.

This topic covers the role of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the QOF, and QOF content and structure.

As of April 2013, the QOF has varied across England and the devolved administrations. NHS England is responsible for the commissioning of primary care in England.

In January 2019, NHS England agreed a new five-year framework for GP contract reform to implement The NHS Long Term Plan. This included several improvements to QOF in line with the recommendations of the QOF Review which was published in July 2018. The QOF contains three main domains: Clinical; Public Health and Public Health — Additional Services.

Each domain comprises of a set of achievement measures, known as indicators, against which practices attain points depending on level of achievement attained.

It should be noted, whilst we are in the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that elements of the GP contract and reporting will not be required during this unprecedented time. Other practice administration burdens have also been reduced to help support general practice and CQC inspection suspended for the foreseeable future.

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