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Br J Gen Pract. 2006 Nov;56(532):825-9.

Primary care funding, contract status, and outcomes: an observational study.

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1
Canterbury Road Surgery, Sittingbourne, Kent.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The introduction of the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) provides a quantitative way of assessing quality of care in general practice. We explore the achievements of general practice in the first year of the QOF, with specific reference to practice funding and contract status.

AIM:

To determine the extent to which differences in funding and contract status affect quality in primary care.

DESIGN OF STUDY:

Cross-sectional observational study using practice data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

SETTING:

One hundred and sixty-four practices from six primary care trusts (PCTs) in England.

METHOD:

Practice data for all 164 practices were collated for income and contract status. The outcome measure was QOF score for the year 2004-2005. All data were analysed statistically.

RESULTS:

Contract status has an impact on practice funding, with Employed Medical Services (EMS) and Personal Medical Services (PMS) practices receiving higher levels of funding than General Medical Services (GMS) practices (P<0.001). QOF scores also vary according to contract status. Higher funding levels in EMS practices are associated with lower QOF scores (P=0.04); while GMS practices exhibited the opposite trend, with higher-funded practices achieving better quality scores (P<0.001).

CONCLUSION:

GMS practices are the most efficient contract status, achieving high quality scores for an average of pound 62.51 per patient per year. By contrast, EMS practices are underperforming, achieving low quality scores for an average of pound 105.37 per patient per year. Funding and contract status are therefore important factors in determining achievement in the QOF.

PMID:
17132348
PMCID:
PMC1927089
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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