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31-07-2012 | General practice | Article

NICE commissioning targets unveiled


NICE Commission Outcomes Framework

NICE has released the full menu of Commissioning Outcomes Framework (COF) indicators that it is proposing CCG performance should be judged on from 2013.

Tied to the controversial 'Quality Premium' that individual GP practices can be awarded, the indicators cover eight key domains, and include prevention of premature deaths from cancer, mental illness and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

Other key indicators include emergency admissions for acute conditions not usually requiring hospital admission, as well as various patient reported outcomes for elective procedures and experience of GP out-of-hours services.

The NICE website states that "where possible, direct measurement of health outcomes by indicators has been explored", but adds that, where necessary, proxy outcomes based on processes linked to health outcomes that can be "substantially influenced" by CCGs have been employed.

Dr Gillian Leng, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Health and Social Care at NICE, said: "We're delighted to be publishing the first menu of COF indicators recommended by the independent advisory committee. These potential indicators will support high quality commissioning of NHS services in England, to deliver the best health outcomes for patients."

She added that each indicator had been through public consultation and "feasibility testing" by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, "so commissioners can be reassured that they will work in practice".

Professor Danny Keenan, COF Advisory Committee Chair, said: "The broad range of clinical expertise within the independent committee, including GPs, hospital doctors, patients and commissioners, ensure that the menu of COF indicators recommended are workable, and can help improve the quality of commissioning to benefit patient care."

GP News is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Caroline Price