Northern Ireland Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) Information 2019/20

Date published: 30 October 2020

The Department of Health today published the achievement figures from the Northern Ireland Quality and Outcomes Framework 2019/20.

Quality and outcomes framework

This is the sixteenth 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 1 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 528.0 of the 547 points available (96.5%).  Achievement across LCGs has been historically very similar, with levels in 2019/20 ranging from 95.5% in Western LCG to 97.1% in Southern LCG. 
  • Of the clinical registers collected for QOF that measure disease prevalence, prevalence was highest for hypertension (13.97%) and lowest for Osteoporosis (0.37%).
  • The average points achieved in the main domains were 364.3 points (95.9%) for Clinical, 32.4 points (92.5%) for Public Health, 13.3 points (95.3%) for Public Health - Additional Services, 18.0 points (100%) for Patient Experience and 100.0 points (100%) for Records & Systems.
  • Achievement in the clinical areas ranged from 88.4% in CVD-PP (Cardiovascular Disease – Primary Prevention) to 99.5% in Atrial Fibrillation.  There were no new clinical areas introduced in 2019/20.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The QOF data tables and reports are published by the Department of Health (DoH) via the Statistics Section of the website.  
  1. This is the sixteenth year of operation of the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF). Results from previous years are available on the DoH 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 12 practices in relation to issues which the HSCB recognised would impact on QOF achievement in 2019/20.  These issues related to practice closures, dispersals and mergers and the subsequent impact on practices.  These 12 practices are excluded from all analysis.
  1. For statistical or data queries, please contact Information & Analysis Directorate on 028 9052 2160 or by email to:
  1. For policy queries, please contact General Medical Services Branch, Primary Care Directorate on 028 9052 0241.
  2. For media queries please contact DoH Press Office by email:
  3. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt.
  4. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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