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Health Minister Suspends QOF to Ease Pressure on GPs

The Welsh government has suspended GPs in wales from the majority of the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), in order to ease the pressures they face in their practices this winter.

The QOF is the yearly reward and incentive programme detailing GP practice achievement results. It rewards practices for the delivery of quality care and helps standardise development in the delivery of primary medical services.

The agreement secured by BMA Cymru Wales will see practices paid for all QOF indicators, based on their last year’s accomplishment, until the end of March.

The only exceptions left are working in clusters and flu vaccinations, while GPs will remain able to opt in to indicators if they desire to improve them.

The GP leaders have welcomed this new move and believe that it will lessen bureaucracy and let GPs to focus on patient care during the busy period. The main aim to suspend QOF is to allow GPs to spend more time handling the most weak and chronically sick patients as demand for services increases drastically.

The chair of BMA Welsh GPs committee, Charlotte Jones said that the move will have a positive effect on practices by decreasing bureaucracy and box ticking, as well as releasing capacity which will enable clinician to focus on the complicated care needs of their patients at a particularly busy time.

BMA Welsh GPs committee is committed to working in partnership with the Welsh government to continue improving working conditions for GPs in Wales, and this agreement proves what can be achieved through association on an agreed vision, she added.

Vaughan Gething, Welsh Health Secretary said that the positive action taken by welsh government will help to ease pressure on primary care. He is very thankful to GP and practice nurses across Wales for their hard work and commitment to their patients during this busy winter period.

He further added that both the Welsh Government and the BMA wales remain committed to working collaboratively and positively to improve access to services. No GP practice will lose out financially as a result of QOF relaxation.

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