Quality and outcomes framework for primary care in the United Kingdom

Citation: Gillam SJ, Siriwardena AN, Steel N. Pay-for-performance in the United Kingdom: Impact of the quality and outcomes framework – a systematic review. Annals of Family Medicine 2012; 10: 461-8

What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a strain on healthcare systems and resources. Existing research into the effects of pay-for-performance schemes in primary care, such as the UK Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) which was introduced in 2004, might provide useful information for policy makers.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for studies that assessed the impact of the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) on the quality of primary care in the UK. They restricted their searches to articles published in English since 1 January 2004 and did the search in July 2011. They included 94 studies across five areas: effectiveness, efficiency, equity and patient and professional experience.

What was found: There were modest improvements in the quality of care for chronic diseases included in the QOF during the first year of implementation, but these improvements were often not sustained in the long term.

QOF led to modest reductions in mortality and hospital admissions in some areas, which appeared to be cost-effective.

QOF led to narrowing of differences in performance in deprived areas compared with other areas.

 

Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.

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