COVID-19: toolkit for GPs and GP practices

QOF (quality and outcomes framework)

Location: England Wales Scotland
Audience: GPs Practice managers
Updated: Tuesday 22 September 2020
Topics: COVID 19, GP practices

This guidance applies to England only.

NHSEI, in consultation with GPC (BMA GP committee), has announced a refocusing of QOF in light of COVID-19. These changes are designed to:

  • support practices to reprioritise aspects of care not related to COVID-19
  • serve those patients most in need of long-term condition management support
  • guarantee significant income protection and the relaxing of some requirements for practices.

QOF as per contract agreement:

  • total points: 567
  • point value: £194.83.

For the full list of indicators read our regular guidance on QOF.


QOF 2020-21 COVID-19 adjustments

Practices should continue to prioritise care that is clinically necessary, relevant and possible. It should be delivered primarily by phone or virtually, or by face to face consultation (with appropriate PPE) where required.

2020/21 agreement COVID adjustment Notes
Income-protected indicators 339 310 Protected
Quality improvement 74 74 Simplified
Immunisations and screening 29 58 Modified
Disease registers 81 81 No change
Prescribing indicators 44 44 No change
Income-protected indicators

Other than those areas listed, the remaining indicators (comprising 310 points) will be subject to income protection, with details of how this will operate being made available shortly.

Practices should make efforts to deliver against these indicators. Practices will need to decide their approach to patient prioritisation and service delivery and share with their CCG.

Quality improvement

These indicators have been simplified to focus upon a set of national actions in the agreed topic areas of learning disability and early cancer diagnosis. This in order to support and contribute to the restoration of these services, rather than traditional QI activities.

Peer network support for delivery and sharing of best practice will need to continue to be provided by the PCN.

Immunisation and screening

The points allocated to flu vaccination and cervical screening are doubled in 20/21. This is to highlight the critical importance of the restoration of these services and the renewed focus upon flu vaccination as part of NHS England’s recovery plans.

As this means a higher proportion of this element of QOF funds are conditional, the points are now going to be weighted differently to usual QOF processes, with the thresholds remaining the same.

Practices will accrue a higher number of points at the lower achievement threshold, with the  remaining points being achieved in a linear manner between the upper and lower threshold.

Disease registers

There are 81 points associated with maintaining accurate disease registers in QOF. These points will be conditional on practices continuing to maintain these registers and associated disease prevalence.

Prescribing named medications

There are eight indicators which support optimising pharmacological management of patients with specific conditions and the prescribing of specified medications. These indicators will remain conditional upon performance.

QOF will be reintroduced in full, from April 2021 and any other improvements to the framework will be agreed during contract negotiations.