The Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) was introduced as part of the General Medical Services (GMS) contract on 1 April 2004. The objective of QOF is to improve the quality of care patients are given by rewarding GP practices for the quality of care they provide to their patients and is therefore, an incentive payment scheme, not a performance management tool.
A key principle is that QOF indicators should be based on the best available research evidence. Participation by GP practices in QOF is voluntary, though participation rates are very high, with most Personal Medical Services (PMS) practices taking part.
The QOF contains four main components, known as domains, these are:
- Public health
- Public health - additional services
- Quality improvement
Each domain consists of a set of achievement measures, known as indicators, against which GP practices score points according to their level of achievement.
The indicators included in the current reporting year are detailed in the accompanying 'Indicator definitions' file (available on the publication homepage) and details of changes to indicators by year are are shown in the relevant section in this document.
QOF information from previous years has been published by NHS Digital and is available at https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/quality-and-outcomes-framework-achievement-prevalence-and-exceptions-data, and via an online search function at https://qof.digital.nhs.uk/.