To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the reasons are for the time taken by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to recommend new indicators to be considered in the Quality and Outcomes Framework.
The new independent National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) process involves the suggestion of topics by stakeholders and collation of information about potential new indicators reviewed by its independent Primary Care QOF Advisory Committee. Potential topics are prioritised by the committee for further development and go through a period of piloting in a number of general practitioner practices across the United Kingdom. They are then subject to a period of consultation with stakeholders before final publication on the NICE menu for QOF. NHS Employers (on behalf of the Department) and the British Medical Association will then negotiate on which of the published indicators will be applied nationally and what the value of these indicators should be. Full details of the new process can be found in the published document called "Developing clinical and health improvement indicators for the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF)-Interim process guide". A copy has already been placed in the Library.