NICE announces performance targets for general practice

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has announced a 'menu' of performance targets

New performance indicators for general practice, including targets on mental health, cardiovascular disease and patients’ body mass index (BMI), are being considered. 

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has produced its latest ‘menu’ for the Quality and Outcomes Framework - a points-scoring system for GP practices that results in extra payments for hitting certain targets.

NHS England and the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will decide which indicators to use from the ‘menu’, and GPs and practice nurses will then work towards the targets.

NICE announced its proposals yesterday, which include practices keeping records of the percentage of patients with schizophrenia and other psychoses aged 25 to 84, who have had a cardiovascular disease risk assessment in the previous 12 months. Practices could also log the percentage of patients with a new diagnosis of depression and/or anxiety in the past year, who were offered a referral for psychological treatment within three months of diagnosis.

Another proposal is that practices keep a record of the proportion of patients with conditions including coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes, who have had a BMI measurement recorded in the past year.

The framework indicators will be finalised in England by April next year, following negotiations between NHS Employers, representing NHS England and the British Medical Association’s general practice committee. Separate but similar processes are to be carried out in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

NICE deputy chief executive Gillian Leng said: ‘These new indicators for general practice will help set high standards of care and bring improved outcomes for patients. 

‘All of the indicators are based on the best evidence and have been developed in consultation with professional groups, patients and community and voluntary organisations. They have been tested across general practice to make sure they work.’

To view NICE's new indicators, click here 


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