GPs have voiced support for moving away from the nationally implemented Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) incentives scheme and towards locally structured deals that better suit the needs of their own patients.
A survey of 413 GPs by Pulse found that 46% supported 'in principle' opting out of the QOF if a locally-focused alternative was offered by their Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
There seems to be little support for the current scheme, which sets national targets in an environment of local budgets, with just 17% of GPs saying they wouldn't consider leaving QOF. A further 37% said they would hold judgement until hearing more details of local schemes.
Earlier this year it emerged that GPs in Somerset, with approval from NHS England, will become the first to step out of QOF altogether while a new scheme more tailored to local priorities is implemented. But according to Pulse, national GP leaders are still not wholly sold on the move, having voted against streaming the entire Framework into general funding earlier this year.
Nevertheless, QOF has already been slashed 40%, with 341 out of 900 points removed in April, and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has long hinted at a reform of the scheme, speaking last September of reducing the bureaucratic burden of targets such as the QOF, through a "dramatic simplification of targets and incentives imposed on GP services".