The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published proposed new menus of indicators for the Commissioning Outcomes Framework (COF) and the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) for 2013-14.

The first menu of 44 new proposed COF indicators, which covers domains including preventing people from dying prematurely and enhancing quality of life for people with long-term conditions (LTCs), will now be considered by the NHS Commissioning Board for potential inclusion in the 2013-14 COF.

From next April, the COF will hold clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to account for improvement in the quality of healthcare and patient outcomes through better commissioning.

Areas covered by the proposed menu of indicators include aspects of care given immediately after a stroke and also following hospital discharge after treatment for stroke, plus chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), maternal care and access to mental health services.

The indicators are identified and developed from three sources - the NHS Outcomes Framework, NICE quality standards and other existing indicator collections such as national audits. Further COF indicators will be developed from NICE quality standards.

The proposed indicators have been recommended by NICE's independent COF Advisory Committee, and each one has been through public consultation and feasibility testing, "so commissioners can be reassured that they will work in practice," said Dr Gillian Leng, NICE's deputy chief executive and director of health and social care.

"The broad range of clinical expertise within the independent committee, including GPs, hospital doctors, patients and commissioners, ensures that the menu of COF indicators recommended are workable, and can help improve the quality of commissioning to benefit patient care," added Professor Danny Keenan, chair of the COF Advisory Committee.

NICE has also published a set of new proposed indicators for the 2013-14 Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF). Run by the Department of Health, QOF is a voluntary annual incentive scheme that rewards GP practices in the UK for implementing systematic improvements on quality of care for patients.

The menu consists of one new clinical area - rheumatoid arthritis (RA) - and 16 new proposed indicators. There are four new indicators on RA which cover practices producing a register of all patients aged 16 years and over with RA, and patients with RA being assessed for cardiovascular risk and fracture risk. 

Two new QOF indicators are for men with diabetes which highlight asking them about erectile dysfunction and offering advice on treatment options as needed.