Northern Ireland Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) Information 2017/18

Date published: 26 October 2018

The Department of Health today published the achievement figures from the Northern Ireland Quality and Outcomes Framework 2017/18.

Quality and outcomes framework

This is the fourteenth 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 538.6 of the 547 points available (98.5%).  Achievement across LCGs has been historically very similar, with levels in 2017/18 ranging from 98.0% in Southern LCG to 98.9% in Western LCG.  (Levels showed greater variation in 2016/17, due to a QOF holiday in operation that year).
  • Of the clinical registers collected for QOF that measure disease prevalence, prevalence was highest for hypertension (13.62%) and lowest for Osteoporosis (0.29%).
  • The average points achieved in the main domains were 373.9 points (98.4%) for Clinical, 33.4 points (95.5%) for Public Health, 13.6 points (97.1%) for Public Health - Additional Services, 17.9 points (99.7%) for Patient Experience and 99.7 (99.7%) for Records & Systems.
  • Achievement in the clinical areas ranged from 95.9% in Osteoporosis to 100% in Atrial Fibrillation.  There were no new clinical areas introduced in 2017/18.

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.  
  1. This is the fourteenth year of operation of the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF). Results from previous years are available on the DoH (NI) website.
  1. Despite being a voluntary arrangement, all practices in Northern Ireland have participated in the QOF since its introduction in April 2004. An agreement regarding QOF achievement was in place between the HSCB and 3 practices in relation to issues which the HSCB recognised would impact on QOF achievement in 2017/18.  These issues related to practice closures, dispersals and mergers and the subsequent impact on practices.  These 3 practices are excluded from all analysis.
  1. For statistical or data queries, please contact Information & Analysis Directorate on 02890 522160.
  1. For policy queries, please contact General Medical Services Branch, Primary Care Directorate on 02890 520241.
  1. Media enquiries to DoH Press Office on 028 9052 0575 or email: Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt


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