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Nurses “carrying out QOF work without proper training”

10 December 2007

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One in three nurses have been asked to carry out Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) tasks that they are not properly trained for, a new poll claims.

More than three quarters also believe the annual incentive programme is undermining the patient focus of the NHS, Independent Nurse magazine found.

And only 30% of the nursing staff surveyed have received a bonus for their QOF work.

Of these, just 29% felt the bonus reflected their contribution to the practice, and 55% said their managers have not invested the cash generated from QOF in staff and services, despite Government calls to do so.

Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA) GPs Committee, said: “While the BMA supports the extended roles of nurses in both primary and secondary care, doctors want to stress that no health professional should undertake work for which they do not feel competent or have not received adequate training.

“Health professionals who do this are not acting in either their patient’s or their own best interests.

“So-called ‘GP performance-related bonuses’ are used to fund GP practices and this includes paying their nursing and other staff for their contribution to the practices’ services.”

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health added: “Primary Medical Care Contractors are responsible for ensuring that any healthcare professional they employ is suitably qualified and competent to discharge the duties for which they are employed.

“The government has invested in general practice in good faith, expecting contractors to invest in their practices in order to increase quality of care for patients.”


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Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

“Rather than undermining a patient focus, QOF requirements are all about best practice for patients, and our adequately trained practice nurses are not asked to do anything that does not fall within their remit and their nursing role within the practice” – Name and address supplied

“I do not think bonuses should pay for standard  and routine work, which is what the achievement of QOF targets are now!” – Name and address supplied