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QOF has made “dramatic improvements” to health in Scotland

9 December 2008

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GPs are delivering dramatic improvements to the care and treatment of patients with long-term conditions, reducing hospital admissions and saving lives, according to a new report published by BMA Scotland today (Tuesday 9 December 2008).

The report considers the impact that the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), introduced as part of the 2004 GP contract, is having on patient care by drawing together the findings of studies conducted on the impact of the QOF.

The report suggests the QOF is helping to reduce inequalities, ensuring that patients get consistent evidence based care wherever they live.

In particular, it has found that hospital admissions for patients with asthma have been reduced, and diabetes management and blood pressure monitoring has improved.

In Lothian, the QOF is considered a significant factor in reducing admission rates for heart attack, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Dr Dean Marshall (pictured), chairman of the BMA’s Scottish GPs Committee, said: “GPs are working hard to save lives by targeting diseases that kill such as heart disease, cancer and kidney disease.

“They are also improving the quality of life of patients with illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, depression and dementia, and research has shown that improvements in managing these conditions in general practice is reducing outpatient visits and hospital admissions. This is good news for our NHS.”

Dr Marshall added that the report demonstrates the “huge benefits” that can arise from investing in general practice and the positive affect this can have on people’s lives.

He said: “It should demonstrate to government the importance of focusing on evidence-based care that has proven clinical outcomes for patients, rather than charging ahead with populist political priorities that do little to address the real health challenges we face.”

BMA Scotland

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“I am dubious but possibly yes. Are there any QOF projects for breast cancer in the UK currently or planned for the future?” – Puvan Markandoo, London