Northern Ireland Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) Information 2016/17

Date published: 27 October 2017

The Department of Health today published the achievement figures from the Northern Ireland Quality and Outcomes Framework 2016/17.

Quality and outcomes framework

This is the thirteenth year of operation of the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), which is a system to remunerate general practices for providing good quality care to their patients, and to help fund work to further improve the quality of health care delivered. It is a fundamental part of the General Medical Services (GMS) Contract, which was introduced on 1st April 2004.

The QOF measures achievement against a range of evidence-based indicators, with points and payments awarded according to the level of achievement. The framework has four main components:

  • Clinical Indicators
  • Public Health Indicators (including additional services)
  • Patient Experience
  • Records & Systems Indicators 

Key Points

  • The average achievement in Northern Ireland was 494.7 of the 547 points available (90.4%).  Achievement across LCGs has been historically very similar, but showed greater variation in 2016/17, with the average achievement ranging from 87.8% in Belfast LCG, to 94.6% in Western LCG
  • Of the clinical registers collected for QOF that measure disease prevalence, prevalence was highest for hypertension (13.45%) and lowest for Osteoporosis (0.26%)
  • The average points achieved in the main domains were 361.2 points (95.1%) for Clinical, 32.7 points (93.3%) for Public Health, 13.4 points (95.7%) for Public Health - Additional Services, 12.9 points (71.4%) for Patient Experience and 74.6 (74.6%) for Records & Systems
  • Achievement in the clinical areas ranged from 85.9% in Palliative Care to 99.4% in Atrial Fibrillation.  There were no new clinical areas introduced in 2016/17


Notes to editors: 

1. The QOF data tables and reports are published by the Department of Health (NI) via the Statistics Section of the website.  

2. This is the thirteenth year of operation of the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF). Results from previous years are available on the DoH (NI) website.

3. Despite being a voluntary arrangement, all practices in Northern Ireland have participated in the QOF since its introduction in April 2004.

4. For statistical or data queries, please contact Information & Analysis Directorate on 02890 522160.

5. For policy queries, please contact General Medical Services Branch, Primary Care Directorate on 02890 520241.

6. For media queries please contact the Department of Health Press Office 028 9052 0575 or email For out of hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager 07623 974383 and your call will be returned. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt

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