Bulletin 19.04.2011

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Bulletin 19.04.2011

Focus on QOF and amended Guidance

The Focus on QOF payments has been updated to take in to account the changes in the GMS contract agreement 2011/12. The guidance gives a full breakdown of the methods used to calculate and make payments earned through the QOF. The information within it is drawn from the Statement of Financial Entitlements which can be accessed on the Department of Health website. The guidance note quotes the value per QOF point for 2010-11 as £130.51 for England.

Please note: the QOF guidance issued last week has been revised due to a typing error – please use this version of the guidance. The typing error has been discovered in the ‘Quality and Productivity 3.2 reporting and verification’ section in paragraph 4 (page 166) of the QOF guidance. The date on the second line incorrectly stated ‘31 December 2011’, this date should read December 2010. This is because the reductions calculated in the third quarter of 2011 will be compared against the last quarter of the previous financial year, rather than the previous quarter in 2011. As such the calculation will be made based on the achievement for the quarter ending on 31 December 2010. DH will be amending the SFE which mirrors this error.

Business Rules and QMAS Updates

The NHS Information Centre (IC) is currently working on the April READ code release and the NHS Employers are working with them to look at the code changes they have proposed. This information will form part of the business rules, which is the reason they have not yet been published. It is expected that v.19 of the business rules , including the 11/12 indicators, will be published shortly and will enable GP system suppliers to update their local searches and templates. The April code release (business rules v.20) is due to be published by the end of April. Due to the delay in finalising the GMS contract agreement, it is estimated to take until October for the QMAS updates to be available. This is not due to any changes in the process for developing business rules. The DoH and Connecting for Health (CfH) normally expect negotiations to be concluded by the turn of the calendar year, which would allow QMAS to be updated by the second quarter of the financial year to which the changes apply. CfH are currently procuring a new system to replace QMAS – the GP Payments Calculation Service – and one of the key requirements for the new system will be to ensure faster turnaround of changes to the system.

Updating Business Continuity Plans

We strongly recommend all practices revisit their Business Continuity plans to ensure that they are up to date if you have not done so recently, particularly with the extended Bank Holiday period on the horizon and change in out of hours provider. Key areas to consider are out of hours and emergency cover you have in place – be it with NDUC, Primecare or via another provider – to ensure these details are up to date and that you have adequate cover formally arranged.

Doctors for Doctors and GP Health

The BMA provides support to doctors in difficulty through two confidential telephone services, BMA Counselling and the Doctor Advisor Service, which can both be accessed on 08459 200 169. Issues dealt with include stress, bullying, GMC concerns, depression, debt and substance abuse. Further information can be found here or by writing to info.d4d@bma.org.uk.

Tees GPs can also enjoy free and confidential health and wellbeing services through the local organisation GP Health. GP Health offer counselling, mentoring and psychiatric help to GPs, dentists, practice managers, nurses and practice staff in the Tees Valley Area. They are funded jointly by all the Tees Primary Care Organisations. Further details can be found here.

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