Royal College of GPs calls for QOF to be scrapped

The government should conduct an immediate review of the “unnecessary burdens” the CQC places on GP practices, and replace the Quality and Outcomes Framework with a new funding arrangement, the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) has said.

The college has released a blueprint for building a ‘new deal’ for general practice in England, which details how the government can secure the long term future of family doctors and deliver the Five Year Forward View.

It calls for an “immediate review of Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections and regulatory processes to eliminate unnecessary burdens for general practice”. This follows the passing of a ballot measure at the recent LMC conference calling for the regulator to be decommissioned.

The blueprint also calls for the government to look at reducing the bureaucracy and red tape facing GPs and how it can be reduced so that they can be “freed up to focus on delivering high quality patient care”.

It says: “There are concerns, in particular, that general practice does not have the capacity to withstand a major health crisis such as a national flu outbreak, and that GPs who want to spend more time developing new models of patient care are being prevented from doing so due to current pressure levels.”

The RCGP say that this could be partly achieved through scrapping QOF. The college wants the GPC to replace it with a new funding arrangement that will provide GPs with more freedom.

The paper also calls for time to be given for GPs to innovate and empower them to develop new models of care. The first step in this, the blueprint says, is to provide practices with funding to pilot the employment of pharmacists in GP teams – as proposed by the RCGP and Royal Pharmaceutical Society in March.

As part of the effort to grow the general practice workforce by 8,000 it also suggests the government immediately provide financial and political backing to the 10-point GP workforce action plan set out by NHS England, Higher Education England, the BMA and the RCGP.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at


Wilson   15/06/2015 at 16:24

Frankly it makes me sick (no pun intended) that GPs want to 'opt out' of the oversight and regulation that the CQC conduct on every other healthcare provider. GPs earn a minimum of £100k per year yet when they were given control over their own budgets the first think my local surgery did was to cease opening on Saturdays! Didn't even bother to tell anyone. I went in to collect a repeat prescription and found them closed and with a notice on the door - No more Saturday opening. Yes, the NHS is failing and for the government to reduce the budget for health and social care is a disgrace! Healthcare providers need more funding, so there is no way that GPs should be allowed to 'opt out' of oversight by the regulatory body while instead asking for a new funding package. I'd prefer them to start earning the money they already receive!

Anj   15/06/2015 at 19:26

i fully agree with the comments of Dr Wilson QOF has only made a lot of collegues lazy and yet the outcomes are as bad as before QOF there should be strict outcome based review of all surgeries and yes perhaps bring the red book or blue book back

Peter Marlow   18/06/2015 at 10:14

It is a question of reform, not discard. The hugely bureaucratic and complex 'incentivisation' and payment schemes in the NHS are time-consuming and costly, and show little benefit (other than job creation). From this perspective the College has a point, as does every Trust. However, the solution is not to let GPs 'do their own thing' - history shows this is too risky. Industry runs on clear, simple, effective performance measures - why must the NHS create such vast leviathans to do a similar job?

Howarth James   18/05/2016 at 15:07

Ah Wilson, you would like me to start earning the money I receive. Given I work twelve hours a day five days a week, dealing 100 patients a day including acutely I'll urgent care and complex chronic disease management, take my admin home and do my personal development in my (sparse) home time, what else would you have me do? Btw I work so hard and see so many patients that I feel it not safe for me or them. That's pretty much normal across general practice. I'd happily earn less and employ more doctors to handle the impossible workload. But there aren't any. I give my life to General Practice in the UK. Increasingly I think I shouldn't Thanks for helping my life decisions.

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