Quality and Outcomes Framework

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Health – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 5th February 2008.

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Photo of Alan Johnson Alan Johnson The Secretary of State for Health 2:30 pm, 5th February 2008

I pay tribute to my hon. Friend for his work on the all-party osteoporosis group. Let me make it absolutely clear that this is part of some of the misinformation flying around about the very complex area of the quality and outcomes framework points. There has never been any incentive within the framework to treat osteoporosis. We are dealing with a number of points in the system—and therefore money paid to GPs—that are now redundant. We all agree that they are redundant. We want to use those points for greater access. The BMA has suggested that they be put towards issues such as osteoporosis, virtually as a piece of propaganda to strengthen its position—[Hon. Members: "Ooh!"] The word propaganda is obviously an unparliamentary term.

I say to my hon. Friend—who I know takes a deep interest in this issue, as do many others—that this is not about our not putting money into these areas. We just do not believe that GPs need to be incentivised in such areas. We believe that we should put more money into the national service framework for older people in order to tackle osteoporosis; and we should fundamentally ensure that people can get to their GP, which is the first step to dealing properly with any ailments, including osteoporosis.