Family doctors in Scotland's GP practices have once again demonstrated high standards of patient care in the national system that measures the quality of services they provide. Figures for the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) published today [Tuesday 25 September 2007] show general practice teams in Scotland achieved 97% of points available.
The Quality and Outcomes Framework was introduced in April 2004 as part of the new national GP contract. It offers practices up to 1000 points if they deliver on a range of services. These points attract financial resources into the practice.
Many of the points relate to evidence-based clinical interventions proved to benefit patients with illnesses such as diabetes, asthma and other long-term conditions: others are linked to the organisation and to patients' experience of the practice
Dr Dean Marshall, chairman of the BMA's Scottish General Practitioners Committee, said:
"I am proud that once again Scotland's GPs and their staff have worked exceptionally hard to achieve these targets. More importantly however, this is good news for patients, it means that more patients are being diagnosed promptly and getting the treatment they need and it is making a real difference to patient outcomes, reducing hospital admissions and saving lives.
"Every step of the clinical domains of the QOF is based on clinical evidence which has a proven benefit for patient care. By introducing the framework for asthma care, for example, admissions to hospital have been reduced. Implementing the steps of the framework for chronic kidney disease can delay progression of the disease, and by lowering blood pressure and controlling hypertension, GPs can reduce the number of heart attacks, one of Scotland's biggest killers.
"Our government should be proud of the achievements of general practice and the great strides they are making towards improving how the NHS manages the care of patients with chronic disease.
"Three years into the new contract, GPs have demonstrated that they can adapt to change and can consistently deliver high quality care. Doctors are committed to helping government achieve its ambition to provide more care available closer to patients' homes but in return, GPs expect to be properly consulted on proposals for changes to the service they are delivering and for their professional skills and experience to be recognised."