It is coming up to year end for GP practices and that of course means that they will all be diligently filling in reams of paperwork for the DH in order to secure maximum funding via the QOF. In the doctor’s business journal medeconomics Dr Gavin Jamie gives some top tips on how practices can maximise their points score.
According to Jamie:
It is that time of year when practices are polishing their data and preparing for the annual inspection on 31 March of their QOF achievement.
For many it is a matter of pride, and not simply financial necessity, to get the most points that they can. Here are my top tips.
The DH is now effectively offering GPs a bounty on every smoker they can identify and attempt to “reform”, so it is perhaps not surprising that third on his list of top tips for achieving the warm glow of satisfaction that only comes from a good dose of centralist bureaucracy is upping the practice’s smoking score.
TIP 3 Smoking
This has become more complicated with the need to offer smoking cessation advice or prescribe therapy to all smokers over age 15.
Due to the way that this is calculated, improved coding of people who have stopped smoking will enhance the advice indicator.
It really is worth making every contact count – even where patient just calls into reception or speaks to the practice by telephone.
If you are the sort of person who takes pride in this kind of exercise or if your practice just needs the money Dr Jamie recommends that you hassle people about their lifestyles at every possible opportunity. I haven’t been anywhere near my practice because I am coming to hate the place. I wonder how many others feel the same and how long it will take for politicians to work out that this approach is counterproductive?
Surely even Dave can see that a system that encourages GPs to repeatedly annoy their patients is not a good thing. No doubt his DH advisors will claim to have “peer reviewed” evidence to the contrary and we can assume that it is the same advisors who tell him that minimum alcohol pricing will target alcoholics and that smoking bans have had dramatic immediate health effects. Surely at some point he will work out that these people are rather economical with the truth? Won’t he?
by Chris Oakley
This post is a followup to “The Department of Health is watching you!“