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General Practitioners

Volume 464: debated on Monday 15 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the written statement of 24 July 2007, Official Report, columns 52-4WS, on GP services (better access), what the scope is of Lord Darzi's work on the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF); whether his work will inform the QOF indicators which will apply in 2008-09; how Lord Darzi plans to seek views from (a) GPs, (b) other NHS staff and (c) other interested parties on his work; and if he will make a statement. (154515)

The national health service Next Stage review announced on 4 July and led by Lord Darzi is addressing four challenges as set out in the terms of reference available in the Library and summarised as follows:

ensuring clinical decision making is at the heart of the NHS;

improving the quality of patient care;

delivering more accessible and convenient care, reflecting best value for money; and

ensuring services are responsive to patients and local communities.

In pursuing these issues, the review will consider the provision of primary medical services and the underpinning contractual incentives including the quality and outcomes framework. Discussions with the British Medical Association (BMA) and others about contractual matters are being taken forward in the normal way.

In the past 10 weeks Lord Darzi has met more than 1,500 patients and NHS staff to garner their views on the issues in question. He has also met the representatives of 250 stakeholder groups, including patient representative organisations, NHS trusts, primary care trusts and strategic health authorities, as well as Royal Colleges and the voluntary sector and seen 1,400 letters and emails from individuals.