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Osteoporosis

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what submissions her Department received on the inclusion of osteoporosis indicators in the quality and outcomes framework of the GP contract which came into effect in April 2006; (81596)

(2) why indicators for osteoporosis were not included in the quality and outcomes framework of the GP contract which came into effect in April 2006; and if she will make a statement.

As part of the negotiations for the new general medical services contract for April 2006 an expert panel was engaged by NHS Employers to receive and review submissions on clinical areas for possible inclusion in the quality and outcomes framework (QOF). The number of submissions to the panel for the inclusion of osteoporosis totalled seven out of 514. All submissions were considered and the expert panel produced reports which have been published on the University of Birmingham website.

During the negotiations many clinical conditions were considered. The key criteria for inclusion in QOF were:

an evidence base for the effectiveness of intervention in primary care;

the health benefits likely to result from improved primary care; and

Government health priorities for investment through the contractual arrangements with general practitioners.

Due to technical problems with the proposed indicators and the degree of priority attached to other changes to the QOF, the proposals for osteoporosis were not taken forward for the 2006 contract changes. As part of the continuing development of the framework, indicators will be reviewed in the light of emerging evidence and in terms of value for money.