Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. I see you publish figures on the numbers of patients on practice QOF registers (for example diabetes) and the numbers of patients included in QOF indicator measurements. Can I have this information broken down further, for example by patient age or gender, or by sub-type of disease (such as type 1 versus type 2 diabetes)?
A. No. The register and other QOF indicator data submitted by practices in order for their QOF achievements and payments to be calculated is in aggregated form only. We can not break it down into any more detail than published here.
Q. Could I make a league table to show which practices, NHS Boards, or HSCPs provide the best care or the worst?
A. Levels of QOF achievement will be related to a variety of local circumstances, and should be interpreted in the context of those circumstances. Users of the published QOF data should be particularly careful in undertaking comparative analysis. Some of the reasons for this are discussed below.
- QOF points do not reflect practice workload issues, for example around list sizes and disease prevalence. QOF payments include adjustments for these factors.
- QOF achievement and prevalence do not take into account the underlying social and demographic characteristics of the populations concerned. The delivery of services may be related to, for example, population, age/sex breakdown, ethnicity or deprivation characteristics, as well as large student populations, number of drug users and homeless populations. These factors are not included in QOF data collection processes.
- QOF achievement could be affected by local circumstances around general practice infrastructure. In undertaking comparative analysis, users of the data should be aware of any effect of the numbers of partners (including single handed practices), local recruitment and staffing issues, issues around practice premises, and local IT issues.